So far, this Lent, I am enjoying the first readings, until of course next Sunday and the parable of the prodigal son, who has been downgraded by the English editors, to the “lost son”, while saying nothing about his being found.

Upon seeing the bush burning, Moses “decides”, I must go over to look at this remarkable sight and see why the bush is not burned. Does religion, then, begin with curiosity? The strange, the unaccounted for, the mysterious compellingly calls out to us. Curiosity is a lesson best learned from having two cats.

Yet we have the mystery of the divine presence among. Are people no longer curious about the world we cannot see nor give an account?

The dialogue begins and ends with names, the human Moses and the holy “I AM”. It is in between this naming that we first here the Exodus story in a nutshell, announced and told by “I AM”. Moses’ response to a request for authorization, literally. What will I tell? Who are you sending me? Faith also begins in questions as well as curiosity.

The second naming by God’s own self is very interesting structurally. “The Israelits” and “to you” (who are the very Israelites) bracket the word “I AM” so that that the layout of the words suggests that God is already in their midst. Do we have the imagination, the healing of our spiritual blindness to see and know that yes, indeed this is so true. God is much safer in burning bushes and locked in tabernacles.

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

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