#MyMassTakeaway for the 3rd Sunday in Lent.
Moses reacts to the burning bush in a way I never would.
Something uncomfortable and inexplicable happened in Moses’ life, right in front of his eyes. A bush was engulfed in flames, but it didn’t burn.
I would have been out of there so fast.
No way would I have gone and taken a closer look. But Moses didn’t run away. Moses entered into the mystery.
“Moses decided, ‘I must go over to look at this remarkable sight, and see why the bush is not burned.'”Exodus 3:3
And when Moses draws near, God calls out to him.
“God called out to him from the bush, “Moses! Moses!'”Exodus 3:4
When something uncomfortable happens in our lives, we often have the fight, flight, or freeze reactions. We allow ourselves to be ruled by fear and anxiety.
But Moses set an astounding example of faith and courage.
Moses didn’t try to put out the fire. He didn’t run away. He didn’t stand there shaking in his boots (or shepherd sandals or whatever).
Instead, he looked that question in the eye. Something out of the ordinary was happening – something strange, unusual, uncomfortable, frightening – and Moses asked why.
He drew nearer to that uncomfortable phenomenon. And when he drew near, God called out to him.
What followed was an encounter that would change Moses’ life.
When we encounter fear in our lives, we can seek to respond more like Moses. Instead of running away, we can allow ourselves to pause and question: Why?
- Why is this bad thing happening?
- Why does God allow suffering?
- Why can’t I reconcile with that friend?
- Why do I keep sinning and failing when all I want to do is follow Christ?
It’s okay to ask why.
It’s okay to draw nearer and seek the purpose behind the unwelcome things that happen in our lives.
When we allow ourselves to enter in to the fearful, uncomfortable, and unexpected – when we open our hearts to seek answers – when we draw nearer to our suffering instead of running away – then God can call us.
Like he called out to Moses, God will call us by name.
When we draw nearer, God can tell us his plan for us. He can give us direction and place our mission before us. He can help us move through the fear, and onward into a life of purpose and hope.
God let himself be known to Moses and sent him out into the world. But notice that Moses never received an explanation about why the fire didn’t burn the bush. He simply received knowledge about God’s presence in the phenomenon.
In the same way, we may not be able to connect the dots on our suffering. We may not understand the reasoning behind our trials in this life.
What we can do is open ourselves to seeing God’s presence there. And when we recognize his presence, we can abandon ourselves to him, trusting in his plan. He knows the reasons behind all the good and bad in this world. He will use it and shape it for his purposes.
What uncomfortable things are happening in your life right now? What are you responding to in fear? What makes you want to fight, flight, or freeze?
Allow yourself to face that fear, draw nearer to that burning bush, and ask God: Why? Open your heart to his call and his plan for your life.
#MyMassTakeaway is a community building hashtag. I encourage you to use it to share your thoughts about the Mass, Eucharist, and readings every Sunday.
Check out these reflections, and head over to Instagram to join!
Here’s my takeaway (in shortened form) over on Instagram!
Jen and Logan remind us to never give up, even when things are hard.
“God doesn’t give up on us, so we shouldn’t give up on each other either! ▫️”The Lord is kind and merciful” – from the Responsorial Psalm.”
Lena reminds us of the spiritual battle at hand, and the importance of imitating Christ.
“And it is especially at this season of combat against Satan that we must imitate Christ.”
Emily focuses on the fact that we need to open our hearts to God. Don’t let your hearts be hardened, and don’t put up barriers to his love.
“Guard your heart with repentance and service to the Lord, but don’t let it be hardened.”
Megan reminds us that we need to prune the things that are distracting us… such as our phones. Convicted!
“Find that thing in our lives that is making us less fruitful, and prune it out. I know mine is excessive phone use.”
Amy shares a powerful story about checking our hearts, and working towards change. So many of us can relate to getting the 5am grumpies with kids who wake up too early!!
“I find myself wanting to make a difference in the world. ..the Lord pointed out to me that it starts at 5 am with a beautiful baby boy.”
Tammi has a beautiful reflection on the importance of kids in the Church. And she reminds us that kids aren’t the future of the Church – they’re the Church today.
“However, I do not doubt in the Lord’s faithfulness and his perfect plan for their lives. I know that the seeds that we have planted as faith-filled parents will continue to be nourished. I know the Lord will look lovingly upon these trees as they grow. He ‘shall cultivate the ground around them and fertilize them; that they may bear fruit in the future.'”
Ginny celebrates a smooth morning! I love this especially today, because we had a smooth morning too – and I know just how difficult it can be to get out the door for Mass.
“Truly, the Lord is kind and merciful.”
Sarah reminds us of the importance of evaluating our habits – and pruning the ones that are not producing good fruit in our lives.
“All I could think of was how intentional I need to be in building my habits. Is it bearing fruit? If not, what do I need to cultivate? How can I fertilize it? Does it need another year to really take root?”
Stay in Touch:
Sign up to get new blog posts and great freebies sent right to your inbox.