Saturday 4 May 2019

Saturday of Week 15 Year 1

When we are experiencing peaceful times, we often do not think about war; or losing one's home, property or way of life; or even the possibility of becoming a refugee. Yet, there are some who may have experienced such tragic events in their country; and they may have fled to another country such as the one we live in; and we may have come across such persons before. Some of us would have even helped such persons in whatever way we can.

In today's reading, we are told that "The sons of Israel left Rameses for Succoth... People of various sorts joined them in great numbers; there were flocks, too, and herds in immense droves. They baked cakes with the dough which they had brought from Egypt, unleavened because the dough was not leavened; they had been driven out of Egypt, with no time for dallying, and had not provided themselves with food for the journey."

For some, being driven out of one's country due to war, political strife or some other reason may seem a tragic thing. But in the case of the sons of Israel, the reason was to rescue them from Pharoah and Egypt, and as such, it was actually for the better. In a way, we may have experienced being driven out of a bad or even sinful situation, even if it means we have no time for dallying. Being driven out in this way is no longer a tragic situation, but a situation meant to rescue us from evil, and to help us remain in God's ways. Are we willing to be driven out and led by God? Or are we still insisting to remain in servitude in Egypt?

Thursday 2 May 2019

Saturday of Week 14 Year 1

When someone has sinned against us or has done us great hurt or harm, how would we respond? Would we be willing to forgive the person? Or would we look for an opportunity to get back or take revenge at the person? Would we follow Jesus' way, in forgiving even those who have betrayed us? Or would we follow the ways of the world, where an eye for an eye is practised? It seems easy to get along with people who we like, but would be just as easily get along with people we less like?

In today's reading, Joseph's brothers were worried that Joseph would use the past as an excuse to hit back at them or to have his revenge after what they had done to him, now that their father Jacob is dead. But as we can see from the reading, Joseph chose to forgive, reconcile and be merciful towards his brothers, instead of holding a grudge or looking for an opportunity to exact revenge. Joseph chose to let bygones be bygones, and move on in God's ways, instead of dwelling in the past.

What about us? Would we be willing to let bygones be bygones, and move on in God's ways, just as Joseph has shown us? May we learn to let go of the hurt we may have experienced, and let God heal us and guide us to be more like His Son, Jesus, and give Him the glory in all we say and do.