Grace to you!
We continue our reflection based on one of the greatest leaders of the Old Testament–Moses. Called by God to lead His people Israel from slavery in Egypt, Moses was anointed for that mission and he put in everything for it.
After revealing His name to Moses as I AM, God asked Moses to invite the elders of Israel and together they shall go to Pharaoh the king of Egypt and ask him to set His people free: “The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us; and now, we pray you, let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God” (Ex 3:18).
The refrain “Let my people go” or a similar phrase was repeated several times in the Book of Exodus (Ex 3:18; 4:22,23; 5:1; 8:1,20; 9:1, 13; 10:3), to emphasize that freedom for people in bondage must be a priority. Without freedom, no one can fulfill his or her vocation in life, chief of which is heaven.
Freedom is God’s priceless gift to us humans. Without it, how can we choose and live freely as his precious sons and daughters? Pope Benedict XVI was spot-on when he said, “God has not created us slaves. He has created us sons and daughters.” God has created us so we can live as freely in our nature as those in His image and likeness.
Hence, all forms of slavery, racism, discrimination, tribalism, ethnocentrism, child abuse and child trafficking, and other social structures and exploitations that keep people in bondage are not only personal evils and sin, but also social and structural evils that must be rejected. Injustice against one is injustice against all of humanity.
From heaven, God's word still echoes: “Set my people free.” Let no one be a tool of unfreedom for others, for to do so is to stand in the way of the fundamental human right to live freely and choose freely. It’s to stand in the way of God. It’s to do harm to the family and to oneself too.
In this sense, all of us need to be Moseses, so we can set the victims of all forms of discrimination, exploitation and racism free from this abominable act of evil against humanity. Because I’m not a victim myself shouldn’t make me blind to the plights of victims. Terrible is their pain.
God’s word in the Book of Exodus—though with a unique theological message in view of salvation history—has implications too for us in our social justice responsibilities. Let’s be our brother’s (sister’s) keeper. Let's champion the freedom of those who are living in unfreedom.
For those burdened and are victims of structural social sins like racism, discrimination, exploitation, etc., take your pains to Jesus who invites us and all burdened: "Come to me all you who labor and are burdened, I will give you rest." (Mt 11:28)
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Thursday 15th Week A: Exodus 3:13-20; Mt 11:28-30]
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.