Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we heard in the first reading from the Book of Exodus, how God called Moses His chosen servant while he was in exile in Midian, so that He might reveal to him the truth about the mission which He had entrusted to him. It was His will that He would deliver His people from their suffering and oppression by the Egyptians who made them their slaves.
He called Moses in the wilderness, on top of His own holy mountain, Mount Horeb, in a bush burning as if burnt by fire, and yet it is not burnt. It is the Lord Himself who revealed Himself to the world through Moses. This is echoed in the Gospel today, where our Lord Jesus Christ praised His Father in heaven, for revealing the truth and the wisdom of God to simple and humble men, and not to the prideful and the haughty.
If we note, God called Moses not as a mighty prince of Egypt, but as a humble shepherd who lived in simplicity in exile. He called this seemingly hopeless and futureless person who had once fallen from grace and glory, outcast and downtrodden, poor in speech and trembling in the sight of a great challenge which God had placed before him.
But this is exactly what God had done, for His plans and His ways are not like what we always like our think. God’s wisdom and ways are beyond the ways of men, and the mightier and more powerful we are, the less likely we are to understand the ways of our God. Our Lord does not go about as we often do. He does not boast His might over the weak and the downtrodden, and He does not despise those who are poor, unloved and dejected.
Thus He called Moses, His servant, from amongst his sheep and goats, and sending him to liberate a people living in great poverty and oppression as slaves. He sent his servant not at the head of a great and conquering army to liberate His people, but with a stick and nothing more. It may seem ridiculous to most human observers at the time, but God does things in marvellous ways indeed.
Through Moses God did His many wonders, a simple and humble man, a prince no longer but one counted among the slaves, who with his walking stick challenged the mighty Pharaoh of Egypt, one of the mightiest secular rulers at the time. And God raised His hands against Pharaoh and Egypt such that, after witnessing the true power and strength of God, let the people of Israel go.
And in the same way therefore, God had called and chosen us all from among the nations to be His people. We have been called from our various origins, all to be His people and to follow Him hopefully for the rest of our days in faith. And through us God will work His great wonders to the people, as by our actions, words and deeds we will bear witness to our Lord’s might and call many peoples to come to His presence.
On this day, we celebrate the feast of St. Bonaventure, a great bishop, preacher and a notable Doctor of the Church, who was a Franciscan Cardinal of the Church, a simple man, who gave himself to a simple life in a life dedicated to the service of the Lord and His people, and yet he was called for something even greater, and through his many works and teachings, which inspired so many people, he was also renowned by his title of the Seraphic Doctor.
St. Bonaventure joined the Franciscans, a religious order renowned for its simplicity, holiness and filled with devotion to God. He would have been content with such a simple, prayerful life, and yet God called him to a greater purpose. He preached against heresies and published many of his writings which became a great source of inspiration in the faith. Eventually, the Church recognised his great efforts and he was made a bishop and then a Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, giving him even greater reach and responsibility.
The example of St. Bonaventure shows us that while we are perhaps simple and small in comparison with others we see around us, and even though our achievements seem to be minuscule compared to that of mankind combined together, but it is exactly what God needs. He calls not the mighty and the prideful, but the simple, to be moulded into His tools, for the good of all mankind.
May Almighty God inspire in us and awaken in us the fullness of love and faith in Him, so that we may devote ourselves ever more to His cause just as His servants Moses and St. Bonaventure had been. We may be small and insignificant, but God reveals His wisdom precisely to those like us, so that by our actions and deeds, filled with the goodness and truth of our Lord, we may be deemed righteous and just, and be worthy of the glory of heaven that awaits us. God bless us all. Amen.