The birth of a baby in a family brings great joy and excitement. A family lavishes great love and attention on the newborn. Neighbours, friends and well-wishers shower the baby with all things new, with keen interest in discovering the baby’s name. As the child grows and develops, the parents/ guardians/grandparents have great aspirations for him/her.
The reading today proclaimed at Mass (Ex 2:1-15) tells of the birth of Moses. The circumstances surrounding the birth were extraordinary. Pharaoh commanded that ‘every infant boy must be thrown into the Nile and every girl may live.’ Just imagine Moses’ mother and her distress at the thought of her baby thrown in the river!
Scripture proclaims how the mother saved her son by making a papyrus basket for him and leaving him in the bulrushes. Providence ensured Moses’ return to his mother, in spite of the command of the king. The baby’s name was Moses, which means, he was ‘drawn… out of the water.’ Moses grew up quickly (in the text) and his mother brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter who treated him like a son.
It was not long before Moses discovered how the Egyptians treated the Israelites. He saw an Egyptian striking one of his own people. On seeing that happen, Moses killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. Next day, Moses saw two of his own people quarrelling. Moses questioned the action. However, the man responded with a challenging question and asked Moses was he going to kill him as he had done to the Egyptian. Moses was afraid. Pharaoh tried to kill Moses when he heard what he had done. Moses fled to the land of Midian and sat down at a well. Moses keen sense of justice emerged from an early age.
No doubt the response to Psalm 68:3. 14.30-31.33-34 ‘Seek the Lord, you who are poor, and your hearts will revive’ was the prayer heard by Moses’ mother as she rescued her son from the river and from Pharaoh’s daughter. In her ‘poverty and pain’, she knew ‘how the Lord listens to the needy.’
In the Gospel (Mt 11:20-24) Jesus denounces the cities in which he had worked miracles because the people did not change their ways. The people witnessed miracles, love, forgiveness and healing from Jesus. Then, they turned their back on him, ignored his love, and did not obey his teaching.
God regularly calls God’s people to repentance. A call to repentance means changing ones’ ways. Today, disciples of Jesus hear the call to change their ways, which means turning away from sin and turn towards God. God invites us to conversion in life in our reconciliation with him and with one another. In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we encounter the risen Jesus. We say sorry, pray the Act of Sorrow, and ask forgiveness. The priest gives penance to the person receiving the Sacrament and tells him/her to go and sin no more. We thank God for forgiving us our sins. Disciples always thank God for his great love, his forgiveness, mercy, and his tenderness. Jesus’ desire for his disciples is to continue to build the Kingdom of God daily. Jesus is with us always in our efforts to do God’s will.
The story of Moses’ birth and the theme of reconciliation with accompanying resources, including the Children’s textbook and/ or e-book are accessible in the Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé religious education programme.
- Morning Prayer/Paidir na Maidine
- Act of Sorrow/Gníomh Dóláis
- From your Bible or from Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé read the story of Moses’ birth and how he was saved from death (Ex2:1-15)
- What is your favourite miracle that Jesus worked? Can you read it from the Bible
- Have you ever seen a Moses basket? Find out how to make a Moses basket
- Can you find in your Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé book some of the miracles that Jesus worked?
- You might like to look at images of your Baptism and the first photographs taken of you as a new baby. Thank God and think about the ways you are growing and developing your gifts and talents
- Write your name and find out why your parents chose the name for you.
Sr Anne Neylon