March 26, 2020 – Thursday of the 4th Week of Lent
Click here for the readings (http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/032620.cfm)
The Hebrew people were looking for a “god” to worship, to lean on from their desperation. They were in the desert for many years since their liberation from the Egyptians. They felt hopeless and directionless.
When Moses was nowhere to be found, they made themselves the “golden calf” and worship it instead of the TRUE GOD who brought them out of Egypt. The people had very short memory. That in times of great difficulty, they turned to a false god believing to find security in it. Indeed, the people forgot God’s promise to them and God’s faithfulness in them.
We are not also far from these people in the bible. We might have our own false gods too that offer false hopes. We may ask, who and what is our golden calf that we worship? Is it to our addiction and loneliness? Is it to ourselves or some others other than the Lord God? When we become desperate our minds and hearts may become crowded that we tend not to recognize the Lord who is at work in us.
Thus, in times of difficulties in life we may develop some forms of attachments to compensate and appease our anxieties and the emptiness that feel from within. And so, a person who felt unloved by a mother may seek affection to many women. Or a woman who is rejected by a loved one, may retreat to loneliness and depression. A child who lacks the security of love and affection at home from the parents may succumbed to drugs or alcohol addiction. A child who has been deprived of material things in the past may become a hoarder of things or worst a thief.
These are forms of unhealthy attachments that only bring us to greater and deeper despair and misery. Consequently, there is a need for us to reconnect ourselves to God who gives us true hope and freedom.
Thus, like the Hebrew people, we may doubt God’s action and intervention and reject God in the long run. This is what happened also with the Jewish leaders who continually rejected Jesus.
They have doubted the person of Jesus even though there had been many signs that he performed as invitations for them to believe. The presence of the Father at work in Jesus was already the moment of recognizing Jesus. Yet, these people were full of themselves that their eyes and ears and hearts had become closed and rigid.
They chose to be disconnected with God because they did not want God’s way and direction of life. Jesus showed to them the many discomforts and risks that they have to undergo once they accept Jesus. What they wanted was that God will act according to what they desire, to what they think and to what they only believed. They were more after of their comfort and privileges that they will enjoy as leaders. Thus, what they worship was not God but their comfort, their influence, their privileges, their very selves.
However, despite this kind of attitude God would always have a reason not to give up on us. Like what Moses did who intercede to God to forgive the people, Jesus also did that to us on the cross. Jesus wants us to recognize him because in him we find our true hope.
As we continue our Lenten journey in the midst of corona virus, let us once more claim Jesus, to accept sincerely God in our hearts that we may find our true hope. Reconnect each day with Jesus as we all face our individual burdens and problems, concerns and difficulties and the crisis that our community is facing today. Hinaut pa.
Jom Baring, CSsR