Paul wants us to be aware, to remember our history, especially from the viewpoint of God’s actions in our history. He is remembering the Exodus events. Despite God’s saving them, the people were fundamentally ingrates, their first sin, and their second, they wanted to return back to Egypt. Their third sin: to take matters into their own hands, and worship what they themselves created.

So it is with us, these exact spiritual, mental, and willful sins in the modern world. Egypt is the secular world with all its bright lights, sounds, and conveniences. We like it here. What’s to be saved from?

These sins, this history is an example for us. When I go off on a history tangent in my homily, some people complain because they don’t like history and they certainly don’t like the reminder.

But he main point is the last line of the text, that we should take care to stand firm. This does not mean in some belligerent, eristic way, but rather the firmness that comes with interior peace, that stilling of the soul and mind and heart before God. This is the work of Lent in prayer.

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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