Show Compassion To The Wayward

Monday of Week 17 in Ordinary Time - Cycle I

Ex. 32:15-24, 30-34 & Mt. 13:31-35

The lsraelites had just concluded a covenant of love with God when Moses left them for a short time to commune with God and to receive the tablets of the law. But in that short time the people reverted to pagan practices. When Moses confronted Aaron he reacted as most guilty people do, by trying to blame others: it was a sinful people who persuaded him to build a golden calf for them to worship. He even tried to claim that the calf had appeared by magic.

Moses was not that gullible! The lsraelites had betrayed God. When Moses witnessed their betrayal, he was saddened, shocked and outraged. Good parents who have given their children the example of the faith and every encouragement to practise it, and whose children have abandoned it, can appreciate how Moses felt. Those parents must have asked themselves 'Just what did we do wrong?' but young people, like the rest of us, have freedom, a gift from God which He will not take away, and children may choose to abandon their faith just as the lsraelites abandoned theirs.

Notice what happened to Moses. His sadness, shock and outrage turned to compassion. He went before God in prayer to plead for the people, and offered to give his own life for them. Such should be our response. We all know people, whether relatives or not, who have abandoned the practice of their faith and who perhaps are living apparently godless lives. Prayer for them is the reaction God wants from us. God knows our disappointment, shock, and even outrage, but what He wants is for us to show a loving concern and compassion as did Moses. That will bear more results than anything else we can do for them. Let us never forget that God our Father is a loving parent and He can appreciate the heartache that is in your heart.

What we can learn from the Gospels is that God’s plan is not thwarted by human betrayal. All the time His plan is at work. With the coming of Jesus He made all things new. The kingdom of God broke upon the world with His coming. The renewed presence of God's love and life in and among us started with one person, Jesus, and His small band of followers. It was a small beginning, as tiny as the mustard seed, but it has spread throughout the whole world. A new people, the Church, now worships God in spirit and in truth. We are aware that we ourselves are not immune from corruption. All around us are forces which would lead us to betrayal. Our life in God is a constant challenge to be a yeast in society, to be a means not of corruption, but for growth.

Heavenly Father, may we appreciate Your great love for us, and what You have prepared for us. Sometimes we are wayward but we should be aware that You are always ready to forgive us and draw us back to Your love.