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See the Gift

First Reading: Exodus 2:1-15

Now a man from the house of Levi went and took to wife a daughter of Levi. The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months. And when she could hide him no longer she took for him a basket made of bulrushes, and daubed it with bitumen and pitch; and she put the child in it and placed it among the reeds at the river’s brink. And his sister stood at a distance, to know what would be done to him. Now the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, and her maidens walked beside the river; she saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid to fetch it. When she opened it she saw the child; and lo, the babe was crying. She took pity on him and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.” Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?” And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go.” So the girl went and called the child’s mother. And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child away, and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed him. And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son; and she named him Moses, for she said, “Because I drew him out of the water.” One day, when Moses had grown up, he went out to his people and looked on their burdens; and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his people. He looked this way and that, and seeing no one he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. When he went out the next day, behold, two Hebrews were struggling together; and he said to the man that did the wrong, “Why do you strike your fellow?” He answered, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid, and thought, “Surely the thing is known.” When Pharaoh heard of it, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from Pharaoh, and stayed in the land of Mid’ian; and he sat down by a well.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 69:3, 14, 30-31, 33-34

I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me. But as for me, my prayer is to thee, O LORD. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of thy steadfast love answer me. With thy faithful help but I am afflicted and in pain; let thy salvation, O God, set me on high! I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving. Let the oppressed see it and be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive. For the LORD hears the needy, and does not despise his own that are in bonds.

Gospel: Matthew 11:20-24

Then he began to upbraid the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. “Woe to you, Chora’zin! woe to you, Beth-sa’ida! for if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Caper’na-um, will you be exalted to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you that it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.” 

ESV

july 14

Do you know those days when one of your children has a friend over at your house and you suddenly get exalted to superstar status? They love your cooking, they think you’re kind of cool, and they are grateful for everything you offer them? Isn’t that such a nice feeling?

It’s not that our own people don’t love and appreciate us. It’s just that they are used to us, and they expect us to feed them and serve them, so they forget to show their gratitude at times.

And often, we can be the same way with God. Sometimes I think the nearer we draw to God, the more accustomed we become to being His beloved children, the easier it is for us to fall into the habit of acting like spoiled children. We expect much, demand that He meet our needs and give us our desires, and pout when His plan is different from our own.

We become so used to His presence that we fail to look upon what He is doing with eyes filled with glory and wonder. We become jaded, skeptical. We want bigger and better assurances that we are His and He is on our side. And we don’t get them, we stomp our feet and act out.

In today’s Gospel, God firmly reminds us where this kind of attitude will land us. And it is not a pretty picture. If Heaven is our goal, than we must daily cultivate the humility and gratitude that allow to recognize every good gift the Father gives us and give thanks to Him all the ways He loves.

Because, believe it, sister. Right here in the middle of your ordinary life, God is doing mighty things. He is acting on your behalf and breathing glimpses of glory into your day right where you are, in the middle of all your ordinary chaos. If we are so busy looking for the thing we want, we can often miss the gift He is offering. And missing the gift often enough can turn us away from Him and in upon ourselves.

Today, let us be children who see our Father’s loving care through new eyes, attentive eyes, awake eyes. Let us look for the ways He is loving and serving us today and in humility and gratitude lift up our hands in praise and thanksgiving. Open your eyes, and watch for His glory to shine.

When you find yourself stressed, flustered or frustrated today, stop and take the time to recognize one good gift God is giving you right now. Remember it or write it down and offer a prayer of thanksgiving for that gift. Ask God to give you eyes to see the ways He is loving you at all times.

photo by Madi Myers-Cook

Colleen Mitchell is wife to Greg and mother to five amazing sons here on earth. They serve in Costa Rica where they run the St. Francis Emmaus Center, a ministry that welcomes indigenous mothers into their home to provide them access to medical care, support and education in the weeks before and after the birth of a child. Find out more about her here.

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