Celebrating Passover, the feast of the Exodus, some 1200 years later with his chosen disciples, Jesus took bread, blessed God, and said, “This is my body, for you.” And he took the Passover cup of wine, and said, “This is the cup of my blood, the new and eternal covenant. Do this in memory of me.” Within a few hours, Jesus was tortured and murdered by the Romans, and soon appeared as alive and as the LORD to chosen disciples. So begins the new Exodus, not from Egypt of slavery, but from self-centered lives into the peace and joy of God’s Kingdom—into a union between God and a human being responding to God’s presence in Christ,
and continuing that presence into the world through loving deeds and speaking the truth.This is the new Exodus, an exodus from self into God, a process beginning through responding to God’s action in Christ, growing into faith enlivened by true love, and blossoming into eternal life beyond death.
Whereas the Chosen People celebrate the liberation from slavery in Egypt, grounded in divine action, the Christian People celebrate liberation from sin-slavery to oneself, grounded on God’s action for the world in the death and Resurrection of Christ. Whenever a human being turns to God, the process of making an Exodus from “the world” (sin, self, evil) begins. As the Fathers of the Church wrote in the early centuries, this Exodus has no end, for we are entering into God, “the end without end,” in a process of “eternal progress” as the soul becomes an ever truer image of the unseen God, who is guiding the process. In simpler language: By God we are becoming ever more fully one with God. That is the essence of the Exodus.
For next week, Passion / Palm Sunday, please carefully read Exodus, chapters 16-22, on the establishment of the Covenant between God and His people, and the giving of the law: “I AM the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. Therefore, have no other gods besides me.” Also remember our common Lenten practices which I urge for all of us to do: (1) Sit in silence daily; (2) Prayerfully reading Scripture daily; (3) Attend an additional Mass weekly (and Stations of the Cross); 4) Visit our elderly or shut-ins.
Next week-end: the Passion of the LORD.