Daily Reflection for Tuesday, July 20, 2021
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Tuesday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Exodus14:21-15:1
Responsorial: Exodus 15:8-10, 12, 17
Gospel: Matthew 12:46-50
Our reflection on Tuesday’s readings:
Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea… Exodus 14:21
Reading today’s scripture passage from Exodus reminded me of the many years I was privileged to be part of St. Monica’s RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults). The goal of RCIA was to welcome seekers who wished to explore finding God by becoming new Catholics. After a period of catechesis, fellowship, and mutual discernment, they were initiated at the most breathtaking of liturgies—the Easter Vigil. I have framed photos of past Easter Vigil liturgies in my bedroom which bring back treasured memories of those individuals, their stories, and the joy and grace of their sacramental initiation.
Today’s first reading from Exodus is an option for the Easter Vigil liturgy. It is almost always chosen because it tells the dramatic Exodus story of how God rescued the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt. There is the strong image of Moses stretching out his hands over the sea and God using that gesture to part the waters and to save the Israelites from their Egyptian oppressors.
In an article entitled Christ’s Long Reach, Fr. Paul Turner reflected on times during his priestly ministry when God had used his outstretched hands to confer God’s grace: baptism, Eucharist, absolution, anointing of the sick to name a few.
Fr. Turner’s reflection invited me to consider moments when God might have used my outstretched hands for His loving purposes:
- receiving a newborn baby for the first time
- holding out my arms to a crying child in need of comfort
- wordlessly embracing a loved one in a moment of sorrow or joy
- welcoming home someone who’s been separated by distance or estrangement
- just about any embrace that shared love with someone who needed it
Recall your own experiences of stretching out your hands to another. Fr. Turner’s concluding words are stunning: Through us, Christ stretches out his hands for all time.
Wishing you God’s blessings,