Monday in the Seventeenth Week of Ordinary Time
Yesterday we saw God helping us in ways we could not even imagine. Today, we begin to see what that help looks like. The first reading and Psalm both talk about how the people of Israel worshipped a golden calf, and how God punished them as a result. Between this and other offenses, the punishments included pestilence, snakes, and being kept out of the Promised Land for forty years. But the Psalms talk of God’s punishments and declare “give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.” In the end, God wishes to prepare Israel to enter the Promised Land.
A gift can be so much better when we are in the right state of mind to receive it. The gifts I made for my parents in my first grade art class will never be shown in the Met (which is all for the best). If they had received the art expecting Michelangelo, they would have been disappointed in my gift. But they received the gift with the same love that made it, and were delighted. The Father in the first reading and Psalm helps prepare the Israelites for the Promised Land, putting them in a right state of mind. Jesus likewise prepares us for the Promised Land today in teaching through parables. Are we willing to leave behind old ways of thinking, and enter into a new state of mind, to receive the gift of the Promised Land?