Your Golden Calf

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Moses sure had to put up with a lot from the Israelites. In today’s first reading from Exodus 32, we see what easily could have been the last straw. But it wasn’t. More on that in a moment. In our Gospel reading today from Matthew 13, we see two very short parables: the parable of the mustard seed and the parable of the yeast. We also see that Jesus spoke in parables to fulfill what had been said through the prophet: “I will open my mouth in parables, I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation of the world.”

Moses went up on Mt. Sinai to have a meeting with God. God wanted to give him the stone tablets on which the finger of God had carved the Ten Commandments. Shouldn’t take too long, right? But Moses’ stay on the mountain lasted forty days and forty nights. While he was gone, the people grew restless. So, in their spare time, they made a golden calf and worshipped it as a god. When Moses came down off the mountain and saw these shenanigans, he blew a gasket. In his anger, he threw down the stone tablets and broke them into pieces. Then he went back up on the mountain to ask God to forgive the people.

Now, it may be easy for us to look at this story and say how silly those people were. Why would they worship an inanimate object as though it were God? But it should really be a warning for us. We, too, can easily fall into this same trap. Now, our idols may not be golden calfs. But perhaps you’ve tried one of these on for size: money, power, prestige, fame, sex, drugs, possessions…oh, the list goes on and on. Any of these could easily become your golden calf. Yes, my friend, even today, we are not exempt from idolatry.

Father, forgive us for those times when we make idols out of things; when we worship anything or anyone but You. Keep us always faithful to You alone. Amen.

Today’s Readings

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