Thursday of the Fourth Week
“You shall not have strange gods before me.” This is the first of the Ten Commandments. The message is reiterated in today’s first reading from Exodus. In the modern world, the “strange gods” take many forms. Material goods, worldly possessions, seem to take over our thoughts; our very lives sometimes. The need to acquire and take care of our “stuff” oftentimes does not allow us time for reflection or prayer. Our phones and computers sound off their voices, demanding our attention like a spoiled child and we jump to respond without giving thought to our own need for quiet and contemplation. The readings point out that “they [the Egyptians] exchanged their glory…they forgot the God who had saved them.” Are we forgetting our God in exchange for MORE stuff or allowing all of the things that we already have to control us? Let us try putting things into perspective. If we are feeling overwhelmed, let’s step back and refocus. Let’s not forget our God. The Lenten season provides opportunities and reminders as to who God is and how we might reconnect. Listen to the words of the Lenten readings. Moments of true silence might afford us opportunities for introspection and revelation.
Dear God, help us to turn toward You and remember why Jesus died on the cross. Help us to take time to think and pray as we go forward in this Lenten season.
Barbara Gaida, M‘01, Member of the Worshipping Community
First Reading: Exodus 32:7-14
Gospel: John 5:31-47