I Am Who I Am

By Sister Catherine Cleary, OSB

First Reading: Ex. 3:1-8, 13-15; 2nd Reading: I Cor 10:1-6, 10-12; Gospel: Lk 13:1-9

Remember the story of the Burning Bush in Exodus? We read it on the 3rd Sunday of Lent, and wonder what it has to do with us. Let’s consider first the story.

Moses had been asked to lead his people out of Egypt and across the Red Sea, an unheard of and impossible task. He accomplished that, guided by the cloud of God.  Then, despite his people’s rebellion and anger at being led “to a barren land where they were starving and groaning of hunger,” Moses prayed and God fed them.

Next, trusting the burning bush as a sign of God’s presence, Moses also trusted this strange message:

“I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”
God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’
“This is my name forever,
 the name you shall call me from generation to generation.”

What a mystery. What can it mean? For one thing, the whole story of Moses reminds us that – no matter what hardships we face – the Lord is with us.  That despite discouragement and weariness we are to “wait upon the Lord.”

For another, God is mystery. We will not know more than God shares with us.

Our signs of God’s presence may not be a burning bush or audible words, yet in faith we are called to, ” Hope in the Lord who will renew our strength.”  (Isaiah 40:30)

Ways to respond:

1. Do we believe that God’s presence is with us? Do we see the burning bush? Do we stand on holy ground?

2. Do we believe that God remembers our name, that God will continue to nourish us and give us strength for our faith journey?

3. Do we have the courage and faith to continue hoping for God to answer our prayers? Do our prayers extend out beyond our own lives? Do we hold those who hunger, suffer, and fear in our hearts? Do we respond to God’s call with a call back to God?

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