Thursday of the Nineteenth Week of Ordinary Time

Today’s readings

God always gives us a way out. The Israelites could celebrate that twice. Twice they came up against the obstacle of the deep waters. The first was on the way out of Egypt, and Moses was able to raise his hands with the power of God and part the waters of the Red Sea so the Israelites could pass to the other side in safety, then resume the flow so that their pursuers perished in the deep. In today’s first reading, we’re on the other end of the story. This time it is the new leader of the community, Joshua, who is able to raise his arms with the power of God to stop the flow of the Jordan, and allow the Israelites to pass over dry land to the promised land.

Would that the indebted man in today’s Gospel would have seen the way out and taken it. He had been forgiven his whole debt, but did not learn that the only way to true freedom was forgiveness. So his way out closed up with him in the midst of it, and he was dragged off to prison.

God gives us all a way out of whatever it is that is troubling us. Sometimes all the troubles don’t go away, but the way out gives us the opportunity to experience the strength of our God. What we need to do is to take the way out and move forward in discipleship. So if we’ve been forgiven, we need to forgive. If we have been blessed, we need to bless others. If we have been comforted, we need to comfort. You get the idea.

In our Eucharist today, God gives us the incredible way out of death, by finding our life in the Eucharist and leading us to eternal life. Blessed are we who receive it.