Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Discernment: Paying attention as Moses did

Discernment:  In today’s first reading, Ex 3: 1-6, 9-12, God revealed his mission for Moses to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt.  This plan is revealed in an unusual way.  Moses notices a burning bush but it is not being consumed by the fire.  So he decides to examine it.  God sees Moses approaching and calls his name: “Moses, Moses!”  Moses answers: “Here I am!”  God then reveals the mission of Moses leading the people out of Egypt, where they have become Pharaoh’s slaves.  Moses objects, saying: “Who am I to lead the people out of Egypt?”  God replies: “I will go with you.”

This story of salvation contains some elements of how we discover God’s plan for us: 1) God takes the initiative; God does the calling 2) God enters the ordinary circumstances of our daily lives—Moses is simply attending his father-in-law’s flock, and 3) our past, no matter how bad it might have been, is not something God holds against us.  These three elements are very important for us to realize. God is in charge. We belong to God!  Secondly, we are servants to one another and need to be going about our ordinary jobs, being responsible and dependable in carrying out our ordinary duties as servants.  Thirdly, our past is not a deterrent on God’s part and we needs to let go of the past and not use it as an excuse for doing what God calls us to do in fulfilling our role in salvation history.

Furthermore, Moses teaches us that discernment includes 1) paying attention, 2) examining the events around us—God may be trying to get our attention in those events, 3) being honest with God, and 4) seeking clarification from God, and 5) listening.

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