Tuesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time
(Judges 6:11-24a; Matthew 19:23-30)
The casual talk between Gideon and the angel sounds something like “Saturday Night Live.” When the angel assures Gideon that the Lord stands with His people, Gideon retorts cynically. “If the Lord is with us,” he asks, “then why has all this (humiliation) happened to us?” The answer to the query, however, should be obvious to Gideon. The reason for the lack of Israelite success against the Midianites is their infidelity to their Covenant with God. Compromising their integrity as a people, they become easy prey to enemies.
Gideon may be talking flippantly because he is not sure whether the stranger before him is really the Lord. He asks for a sign which is soon given when fire consumes Gideon’s sacrificial offering. Knowing that he is in the Lord’s presence, Gideon begins to wonder if he will suffer for his impertinence. However, God assures him not to worry.
We should not hesitate to open our hearts to God in prayer like Gideon. But humility is called for in such awesome company. God is, after all, our Creator and not our buddy. He befriends us out of love but does not share our tendencies to complain and gossip. We should speak with Him as with a revered professor who has deigned to give us his time. That is, we are wise to be attentive to His correction and appreciative of His encouragement.