Lent 3 - Year C
We have had our formative experiences, whether individually or generationally. These are wonderful and cumulative. We rejoice.
Our formative experiences do not hold up over time. We become accustomed to their presence and they turn into idols. We keep applying their specifics rather than their universality. We use them to justify accumulated power and prestige.
Here the specific of sexuality rises up to deny the variability of this gift. Here the presumption that we are the end spot of creation justifies spinning an ancient story for present purposes. Nothing new in this, just that it happened again then and is again now.
We are appropriately encouraged to make choices today, as folks have had to make all along the way. During and after the Exodus folks were no more united than were folk then listening to Jesus or now to testimony about him.
How do we express the freedom to learn more than has been passed on and how do we care for others whose learning goes in a different direction from ours. This tension is somewhat relieved in hearing the many plurals used here that are too easily limited to individual experience. It is also eased by warnings that our most cherished rituals do not bring with them guarantees to protect us from going aft agley.
The poetic reference to a mouse ends with:
Still you are blessed, compared with me!
The present only touches you:
But oh! I backward cast my eye,
On prospects dreary!
And forward, though I cannot see,
I guess and fear!
The way out of our various slaveries to the past and blindnesses to the future remains a mystery to mice and men. Caught between dreariness and fear we set up tests of passed on paradigms (a little more manure) and yet unseen growth (a little more time). May you evaluate your data well; may you help us all evaluate our common data.