Search This Blog

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Bible and Catechism in a Year: Day 33

Exodus 1-2

We begin the story of Moses...everyone knows this one pretty much.  What jumps out at me is the end of Chapter 2, and how human language is often used to describe God's action.  Here it speaks of God remembering his covenant, as though He could have forgotten it.  Looking back as Christians, we understand that what we are reading about is the preparation of a people as a suitable base into which He could come to redeem the world.  This suffering by the ancient Israelites is one such way in which God is preparing them for what will come.  So it isn't so much that God "remembers" in the human sense (since he is outside of time anyhow and sees all of history in his eternity), but that in God's plan it was time to deliver the Israelites from Egypt.

I also find it to be a wonderful rehash of Genesis that it recalls the covenants with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.

Psalm 32

This is a nice change of pace...a psalm about the importance of confession and forgiveness.  I especially like verses 3 and 4, talking of the effects unconfessed sins have on the body and strength of the sinner.  Confession to our Lord (very powerful in the sacrament of reconciliation) can be healing in both body and spirit.  When we confess and receive forgiveness, we can feel a change.  Yes, it is a psychological phenomenon, but also a spiritual and physical one, for we are creatures of mind, body, and spirit.  This would be a great Psalm to pray before and after confession.

Matthew 18:21-35

Speaking of many times should we forgive our brother if he sins against us?  Jesus says seven times four hundred and ninety times.  Does this mean 490 times and not the 491st time?  No...(though that would be one determined brother) Jesus is saying that we forgive as many times as necessary. 

Then we get the parable of the king who forgives his servant a great debt, but then finds out that the same servant refused to forgive his servant a lesser debt.  Thus the first servant loses the forgiveness that has been given to him.

This is important because it shows us the importance and necessity of forgiving (though not necessarily forgetting) those who wrong us in this world. 

It also shows us that just because we are forgiven does not mean that such forgiveness can not be taken from us if we fail to follow God's commands, that is, be righteous.  This seems like a pretty powerful argument against the "Once Saved, Always Saved" philosophy.

Catechism 268-274

We turn now from God's trinitarian nature and begin to look at His descriptors.  In particular, what it means that He is "Almighty."  Nothing is impossible with God, and yet we do not understand his ways.  He is Father to us all, and how many of us do not remember how we each felt our own earthly father (if we were fortunate enough to know him) was an invincible force, though we didn't understand him fully?  Certainly, God as Father is the fulfillment of this childhood fantasy on both accounts: almighty and mysterious.

To bring us full circle, the Catechism acknowledges that the problem of evil and suffering can test our faith.  Just as the suffering of the Israelites in Egypt might have tested their faith and made them think that God had forgotten them, we can fall into the same error.  But God is steadfast in his love, and ever-faithful, whether He appears to human sensibilities to be or not.  We, then, must grant consent to our will for a faith that "embraces the mysterious ways of God's almighty power."

Tomorrow's Readings:

Exodus 3-4
Psalm 33
Matthew 19:1-15
Catechism 275-281

No comments:

Post a Comment