Read Exodus 14:5-18, Exodus 15:1-6, Matthew 12:38-42

“Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord, saying, ‘I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.’” (Exodus 15:1)

Reflecting on today’s first reading, Don Moen sang: “God will make a way, where there seems to be no way, He works in ways we cannot see. He will make way for me. He will be my guide; hold me closely to His side. With love and strength for each new day, He will make a way; He will make a way. He'll lead me by a roadway in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert will I see.”

Slavery is such a grave evil humans inflict on one another. Slavery begins with a basic lack of respect for the dignity of a fellow human being. Whenever you look down on others or deny them their human rights, slavery occurs. You are no better than Pharaoh and his household when you exploit others’ talents, energies, and time against their will. The painful reality is that even though we are Christians, slavery continues in our homes today under the guise of house help, apprentices, and the like.

One thing we need to understand about slavery is that it is not only the slave that suffers. This is the point, Asa, the musician, made when she sang, “I’m in chains, you are in chains too. I wear uniforms; you wear uniforms too.” A lack of respect for your fellow human does not make you a higher species.

The real impact of slavery is not so much the physical wounds inflicted on people but the psychological destruction it brings within a person. The slave begins to think of himself in such low terms that he craves for and worships his master. This is the stage of surrender! In the presence of his master, he is overcome by fear. This type of fear gripped the Israelites in the presence of Pharaoh. They even asked Moses, “Where there no better tombs in Egypt that you brought us out here to die?”

That was when Moses sang: GOD WILL MAKE A WAY. Be still. Be calm. Relax. Fear not. Just watch and see. Let God fight for you. Each time we are consumed by fear, we should remember this encounter. Never underestimate the power of God. Be calm, and know God knows how to make ways where there is none.

In today’s Gospel passage, the Pharisees asked Jesus for a sign, and in response, Jesus told them that only an evil and adulterous generation would be seeking a sign and that the sign of Jonah was enough. The lesson from this episode is simple: “We do not need signs to believe (otherwise, God would have to prove Himself repeatedly), but once we believe, we would begin to see great signs and wonders.

Let us pray: Almighty ever-living God, save me from the fear of people. Through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Monday of week 16 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Exodus 14:5-18, Exodus 15:1-6, Matthew 12:38-42).

@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu