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If your presence will not go with me

The book of Exodus records a heartbroken prayer of Moses when he was leading the Israelites in the desert searching for Canaan, the Promised Land. Moses said, “if your presence will not go with me, do not carry us up from here” (Ex 33: 15). When they were rescued from the slavery of the Egyptians their destination was Canaan and that was the promise of the Lord as well. Even though Moses knew this, he still tells, God, if you are not with us, even if we are in the Promised Land, we will not be happy.”

This prayer of Moses is our guiding force in our spiritual life. We begin our life with God but often we miss his presence in between. And the bitter truth is that this goes unnoticed. When we meditate on the life of the Holy Family this fact becomes very evident. After the celebration in the temple, they returned home, but they did not realize that Jesus was not with them. They assumed that he was with the other families and traveled for a day (Luke 2:43-44). In the same way we don’t realize the absence of God in our lives. When we are lured by the attractions of the world we often send God to the back of our mind.

Let us constantly examine our married or consecrated life to see if God’s presence continues to go with us. The Holy Family found Jesus in the same place where they lost him. Let us ensure that the presence of God is always with us. If we have lost the presence of God, let us go back to the situation in our lives where we lost God and bring him back to our lives. Let us also pray like Moses did. God even though our destination is beautiful do not send us without your presence.

But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember then from what you have fallen, repent and do the works you did at first” (Revelation 2: 4-5).

Fr Prince Chakkalayil CST

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