Human Intercession, Divine Mercy

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In today’s first reading, Moses begs God, “Let your blazing wrath die down; relent in punishing your people.” Humanity has a long history of believing God is punishing and vengeful. Over the ages, people have attributed diseases and various misfortunes to God’s wrath. Yet, that isn’t the vision of God that Jesus paints in his teachings and parables.  

So, I wonder… who is really angry here? God? Or Moses? 

If we look to the text immediately following today’s passage, we find Moses approaching the camp and seeing the golden calf. “Moses’s anger burned hot, and he threw the tablets from his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain.” Moses was furious!  

What had happened to the person interceding on behalf of the people? If we’re honest, we know that we are like Moses in expressing anger and fury at those who wrong us. We also know that we are like the Israelites in forgetting that God has gifted us. Perhaps Moses was enraged as soon as God told him about the golden calf, and his prayer for mercy was an attempt to calm his own anger. Rather than praying for God to smite the unjust, he interceded for the people. 

Even though our anger may still overflow, mirroring that of Moses, praying reminds us that we, too, need to receive God’s merciful love. So let us intercede for those who wrong us and ask God to forgive and be merciful. Then we can trust that God indeed will remember his people… all of us!  

Sr. Anita Louise Low

Anita Louise Lowe, OSB, is prioress of the Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand, Indiana. 

© Liturgical Press.

Sr. Anita Louise Lowe, OSB

Anita Louise Lowe, OSB, is prioress of the Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand, Indiana.

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