Be Still and Know that I am God
Malvern Minute

 

July 24, 2017 – Monday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Saint Sharbel Makhluf, Priest

Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (mpoletunow@malvernretreat.com)

Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)

A reading from the Book of Exodus (14:5-18)

When it was reported to the king of Egypt
that the people had fled,
Pharaoh and his servants changed their minds about them.
They exclaimed, “What have we done!
Why, we have released Israel from our service!”

So Pharaoh made his chariots ready and mustered his soldiers,
six hundred first-class chariots
and all the other chariots of Egypt, with warriors on them all.
So obstinate had the LORD made Pharaoh
that he pursued the children of Israel
even while they were marching away in triumph.
The Egyptians, then, pursued them;

Pharaoh’s whole army, his horses, chariots and charioteers,
caught up with them as they lay encamped by the sea,
at Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon.

Pharaoh was already near when the children of Israel looked up
and saw that the Egyptians were on the march in pursuit of them.
In great fright they cried out to the LORD.
And they complained to Moses,
“Were there no burial places in Egypt
that you had to bring us out here to die in the desert?
Why did you do this to us?
Why did you bring us out of Egypt?

Did we not tell you this in Egypt, when we said,
‘Leave us alone. Let us serve the Egyptians’?
Far better for us to be the slaves of the Egyptians
than to die in the desert.”
But Moses answered the people,
“Fear not! Stand your ground,
and you will see the victory the LORD will win for you today.
These Egyptians whom you see today you will never see again.
The LORD himself will fight for you; you have only to keep still.”

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me?
Tell the children of Israel to go forward.
And you, lift up your staff and, with hand outstretched over the sea,
split the sea in two,
that the children of Israel may pass through it on dry land.

But I will make the Egyptians so obstinate
that they will go in after them.
Then I will receive glory through Pharaoh and all his army,
his chariots and charioteers.
The Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD,
when I receive glory through Pharaoh
and his chariots and charioteers.”

 

Reflect: The LORD himself will fight for you; you have only to keep still. The children of Israel were a restless, complaining bunch. They didn’t know what they wanted. They wanted to be set free; but when they were heading into the desert they complained and wanted to go back to Egypt. God asks them to trust. Moses emphatically reminds them that God is fighting for them; they just needed to be still and believe that God would lead them to the promised land.  How about us? We can also be a restless, complaining bunch. We receive constant reassurance from the Lord that we are not alone, that he is with us and that he will provide for us. But we can become impatient when God doesn’t answer our prayers in the way that we would like. We murmur thinking that God isn’t listening. Just like our ancestors in faith, God asks us to walk in faith and not by sight. He asks us to be still and know that he is God. We have his promise: he will never abandon us or leave us as orphans. Jesus is our greatest defender and he was won the ultimate victory for us on the cross; he won’t change his mind; he won’t let us down.

Questions: In what ways do I find myself murmuring against God? How might God be asking me today to be still and to trust him? What aspects of my life do I need to turn over to God more completely?

Pray: Loving God, you led your people through the Red Sea to freedom fulfilling your promise to them. Help me to trust that you are with me, that you hear all of my prayers, and that you will always lead me into the fullness of life.  I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

Saint Sharbel Makluf: Pray for us!

Sharbel Makluf was born in 1828 in a small mountain village in north Lebanon. He became a monk in the Maronite Catholic Rite and was ordained a priest in 1859. Devoted to the Blessed Mother, he spent the last twenty-three years of his life as a hermit. Despite temptations to wealth and comfort, Sharbel taught the value of poverty, self-sacrifice, and prayer by the life he lived. He possessed the gift of performing miracles even during his lifetime. He died in 1898. His tomb at the monastery of Saint Maron in Lebanon is a place of pilgrimage. Canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1977, Sharbel is known as the “Hermit of Lebanon.”

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