It is the Lord who goes before you; he will be with you, he will not fail you or forsake you; do not fear or be dismayed. (Deuteronomy 31:8)
I have a terrible memory. Perhaps you have the same condition. You know the one—where you only remember the times that your prayers weren’t answered instead of praising the Lord for all of the ways in which your prayers WERE answered? You have no problem recollecting all the ways in which you are lacking, but have a hard time counting your blessings? I’ll never forget the Christmas of 1995. Our family was in town, we opened gifts and my cousin got a super cool Barbie minivan (with seat-belts) that fit ALL of her Barbie dolls, while I only got a two seater Barbie convertible. I was angry. Nevermind that I got a new toy, that was pink and a vehicle for my dolls—it wasn’t exactly what I asked for. I threw a fit, caused a scene, and was pretty rude to my cousin and my parents. I did not honor my father or mother and I definitely coveted my neighbors’ goods…no bueno.
In today’s first reading, Moses reminds the Israelites that the rules—the Commandments—are there to help them—to make them holy. All of the experiences that they had, of God the Father continuing to show them His LOVE and MERCY, are meant to be remembered, shared and passed down:
However, take care and be earnestly on your guard
not to forget the things which your own eyes have seen,
nor let them slip from your memory as long as you live,
but teach them to your children and to your children’s children. (Deuteronomy 4:9)
Can you imagine being there to witness the parting of the Red Sea? The Manna from Heaven, providing food every day for 40 years? For the Israelites to “forget” is to doubt the Lord’s providence, protection and love for them. It is a rejection of God the Father all over again (cf. Genesis 3).
Did you know that when Moses went up the mountain to receive the Ten Commandments, ALL of Israel was meant to go with him (cf. Exodus 3:12)? But they were so comfortable in their sin, they made Moses go up alone. (Exodus 19)
God the Father was on a rescue mission to save His Chosen People. Even when they disobeyed the Lord, (breaking the 1st Commandment), He continued to offer them opportunities to turn their hearts back to Him.
Are there areas in your life where you begged for God the Father to answer you, and He did—perhaps in a big way? And then after time passes, you forgot about His faithfulness, and began to doubt His love for you?
Do not be like the forgetful Israelites.. or 6 year old Melissa. Whether God the Father is helping you to stay awake during class or pouring peace into a hardened relationship, He hears each one of our prayers. As an adult, I look back on the experience of that 1995 Christmas, and I recall how thankful I am that I got to spend that time with my extended family, and so so grateful for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Speaking of which– All High Schoolers are invited to attend our weekly SNL this Sunday, March 26. We will go through the Examination of Conscience, so that you are prepared when we attend the Parish Lenten Penance Service on April 2.