Reflecting on Exodus 17: 8-13
Last Sunday I was giving a talk about biblical history. I had a big, heavy burlap chart that needed two people to hold it. About ten minutes into this lesson Fred, dropping his arms (and thus the chart) said, “Will Aaron be coming soon?” And the class, very biblically literate, erupted in laughter, recalling this story today from Exodus about Moses’ arms being held up by Aaron in the heat of the battle.
I looked at the couple I had recruited for the chart-holding task. Their arms were aching, but they had dutifully stretched that chart across the room until they just couldn’t hold it anymore. They, and hundreds of others, have been holding up the good works of the Church all their lives.
Afterwards, the doors of the hall burst open and a group of beautiful young adults came rushing in, hastily setting up the cots for a number of homeless families who will be staying at the parish this week. They are part of a whole army of parishioners who will hold up the arms of these struggling families, providing friendship, food and shelter for them as the adults go to their jobs or look for work this week.
My cousin Maureen has a long list of people for whom she prays, every single day. The years come and go, but she is always there, like the widow in Luke’s story today, holding up in prayer those who are sick, or jobless, or divorcing, or grieving.
Will Aaron be coming soon? As I look at the faithful work of the Church around the world I can confidently say that he is already here.
Sharing God’s Word at Home:
How are you helping to hold up the arms of the weary?
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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).