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Memorial of St. Ignatius of Loyola, Priest: Monday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

“With that, Moses' wrath flared up, so that he threw the tablets down and broke them on the base of the mountain. Taking the calf they had made, he fused it in the fire and then ground it down to powder,which he scattered on the water and made the children of Israel drink.” (From Exodus 32:15-24; 30-34)

I am reminded again today of Charleton Heston and the old movie, “The Ten Commandments.” If we look at that scene from the movie and the dramatic scripture today from Exodus, we might be tempted to think that the message is about God being a vengeful God who punishes severely. It is, in fact, about remembering and trusting. The Israelites weren’t bad people. They were just feeling discouraged. In that moment of discouragement, they experienced anger and disappointment. This leads to what appears to be revelry and sin.

For me personally I take it as a reminder of the unfortunate reality that we, at times, forget. We forget the bumps, pitfalls, and difficult moments through which God has carried us. Maybe we get discouraged and, like the Israelites, grumble and complain. Given the fact that today is a Monday, perhaps this could be our goal for the week: to stop and consciously bring to mind all that the Lord in His great love and mercy has carried me through. May our words and actions show that we have not forgotten but, in fact, remember. With all of the struggles that we’ve been through, we’re still standing!

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