Monday 19 July 2021

Today is Monday the 19 July, in the sixteenth week of Ordinary time.

 

The St Thomas Music Group sing the Prayer of St Theresa by Margaret Rizza.

Let nothing disturb you, nothing distress you. While all things fade away, God is unchanging.  Be patient, for with God in your heart, nothing is lacking.  God is enough.

 

Today’s reading is from the Book of Exodus.

 

Exodus 14:5-18

When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, the minds of Pharaoh and his officials were

changed toward the people, and they said, "What have we done, letting Israel leave our service?" So he

had his chariot made ready, and took his army with him; he took six hundred picked chariots and all the

other chariots of Egypt with officers over all of them. The LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of

Egypt and he pursued the Israelites, who were going out boldly. The Egyptians pursued them, all

Pharaoh’s horses and chariots, his chariot drivers and his army; they overtook them camped by the sea,

by Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon. As Pharaoh drew near, the Israelites looked back, and there

were the Egyptians advancing on them. In great fear the Israelites cried out to the LORD. They said to

Moses, "Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the

wilderness? What have you done to us, bringing us out of Egypt? Is this not the very thing we told you

in Egypt, ‘Let us alone and let us serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the

Egyptians than to die in the wilderness." But Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid, stand firm,

and see the deliverance that the LORD will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see

today you shall never see again. The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to keep still." Then

the LORD said to Moses, "Why do you cry out to me? Tell the Israelites to go forward. But you lift up

your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the Israelites may go into the sea on

dry ground. Then I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them; and so I

will gain glory for myself over Pharaoh and all his army, his chariots, and his chariot drivers. And the

Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gained glory for myself over Pharaoh, his

chariots, and his chariot drivers."

 

Just consider this scene…  On one side of you is an impassable barrier, ‘The Red Sea’ and on the other thundering down towards you, dominating the horizon, is an army of 600 war chariots.  What is it like to be there?

 

Use your senses… listen to the sound of the Red Sea…hear the sound of galloping hooves…

 

Around you are families, women, children and men, but no army, no defence. There is nowhere to escape to… How does this make you feel?

 

But consider: you are there because God has gone to considerable trouble to procure your release from the slavery of Egypt. You are God’s people, God has promised you a new home, a new life.

 

God says “Do not be afraid.” One of the 365 times God says “Do NOT be afraid” in the scriptures.  Take a moment to sit with these words, “Do not be afraid”. If you find yourself wandering off in thought, use the words to bring you back into focus.

 

Perhaps God means us not ever to be afraid. This is an opportunity to trust God and his promises.  Are there opportunities in your life to trust God and his promises? Talk to him now about all this.

 

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.