Today’s first reading from the Book of Exodus recounts the dialogue between God and Moses while Moses was on Mount Sinai. The Chosen People of Israel, having grown impatient because Moses had been gone for so long, have Aaron fashion a golden calf which they then begin to worship. I’ve always found this passage to be a humorous presentation of a serious issue. God tells Moses to “go down at once to your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt, for they have become depraved.” But Moses responds, “Why, O Lord, should your wrath blaze up against your own people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt...” It seems as if neither God nor Moses wants to take responsibility for these people! In the end, of course, God was faithful to His promise to the Chosen People and eventually led them to the Promised Land. Despite their sins (for which they deserved, and received, punishment), the Lord remained their loving Father. The Lord does not abandon the lost. Jesus’ parable (in today’s Gospel) confirms this truth. No matter where we might wander, or for how long we might wander from God, He remains our loving Father – our Good Shepherd – Who always seeks out the lost and rejoices in their return.
We marked the anniversary of the terrorist attack on our country today, September 11. The passage of these 21 years does not diminish the shock, outrage, and anger that many rightly experienced after this deliberate assault against our country, and the deaths of thousands of innocent people. Make no mistake about it: the direct and intentional killing of innocent people is evil. It is a moral evil, since it was the act of men, who are moral agents. The brunt of violent and radical Islamism seems to have shifted more to Africa, where our Christian brothers and sisters continue to suffer much from terrible attacks. Please continue to pray for them, and those in the Middle East, who witness to the Faith by the shedding of their blood.
May God bless you!