17TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Joshua, son of Nun, would not move out of the tent.
Watching the sun rise above the horizon can take your breath away. Shimmering colors flood the skies and illuminate the earth below. Even dark clouds become a canvas for God’s painting of a new day. You don’t want to look away even for a moment, lest you miss it. You linger, transfixed, as you marvel at God’s creation.
Something similar seems to have happened to Joshua in today’s first reading (Exodus 33:7-11; 34:5-9, 28). Moses and Joshua had gone to consult the Lord in the tent of meeting, “outside the camp” (Exodus 33:7). When Moses entered, a cloud descended, and God spoke to him “face to face, as one man speaks to another” (33:11). How powerful it must have been for Joshua to witness these encounters! Even after Moses left, Joshua remained; he “would not move out of the tent” (33:11).
Beholding the glory of the Lord in the tent made Joshua want to linger there as long as possible. He must have hungered for the same close friendship with God that he saw Moses had. Imagine the questions he asked the Lord and his eagerness as he listened for answers. The presence of the Lord had captivated him and moved his heart to linger, to listen, to learn. And learn he did! So much so that years later, God chose Joshua to lead his people across the Jordan into the Promised Land.
Today, this same God waits to meet with you! “The Lord, a merciful and gracious God,” desires to reveal himself to you, as he did with Moses and Joshua (Exodus 34:6). So let this story stir up your desire to see your heavenly Father “face to face” (33:11). It may happen in a dramatic way as it did for Moses and Joshua, or it may happen in a more quiet meeting. However it happens, don’t limit the Lord; he will come and reveal himself. All he asks is a seeking, open heart.
Where is your “tent of meeting” today? A quiet corner of your home? At Mass? Or maybe in Eucharistic Adoration? Wherever it is, God is present. Like Joshua, stay there: pour out your heart, your questions, and your love. And wait to see what God will do.
“I treasure my time in your presence, Lord. Reveal yourself to me.”
Exodus 33:7-11; 34:5-9, 28
WORD AMONG US