Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Tuesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

(Exodus 2:1-15a; Matthew 11:20-24)

Other than Abraham Lincoln, no American president is better known for his moral character than George Washington.  The first president was courageous and restrained.  He sacrificed his comfort in order to serve his country.  He also arranged for the release of his slaves.  He might be compared with Moses in today’s first reading.

The incidents described in the reading portray Moses as a man of justice.  He slays the Egyptian to protect the defenseless from unjust aggression.  He admonishes the Hebrew who picked a fight with another to indicate the need for solidarity among the oppressed.  His sterling character makes him an excellent choice to lead his nation from slavery to freedom.

Moral excellence is even more attributable to Jesus.  The gospels portray him as literally flawless.  In today’s passage he cries out to the towns of Galilee exhorting them to heed his call to repentance.  Virtue will eventually impel Jesus to confront the dual powers of religion and state in Jerusalem so that the people would finally heed his message.  “’The Kingdom is at hand!’” he continually says.  So let us give up our vices in order to fully experience it.