Our Golden Calves


...The LORD said to Moses, "Go down at once to your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt, for they have become depraved.
They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them, making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it, sacrificing to it and crying out, 'This is your God, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt!' (Exodus 32:7~8)

When I read and heard that passage from Exodus last week at Mass, it was one of those times when it seemed strike right where I live, so to speak. It would be very easy for us to stand back and say: "Those crazy foolish Israelites, a golden calf? Really?" However, looking at the world around us today in the 21st century, we see that as a culture, we have not come that far from where those crazy Israelites were. We have formed our own golden calves, perhaps even more dangerous than that statue they came up with. Our golden calves are in the form of money, power, sex, drugs, or whatever gets in the way of God in our lives. Take a look at a list of the seven deadly sins, and you will see that they are alive and well in our society today.
OK, all that is on a global scale, but what about in my own life? Sure, I don't seem to have an attachment to any of those things I've listed, or do I? Maybe they are in a subtler form. What am I doing when I could be spending some time in Scripture or spiritual reading? Do I give of my time to those who really need it? Spiritual things in and of themselves can become idols as well. Am I spending every waking minute in church/parish activities and depriving my family of time they need from me? You get the picture.
I don't make this personal to judge. Lord knows, I am as guilty as the next person. My point in bringing this to a personal level is to help us root out these idols which are obstacles to faith, hope and love. They are obstacles to the one true joy of and in our lives~Jesus Christ.
My other point in all of this is, who did the Israelites have to intercede for them? They had Moses. Back to the global scenario... The world needs modern day Moses and Abrahams to stand in the breach and pray, asking God's mercy on this fallen and depraved world. It is not so much that prayer changes God's mind, but more that He is looking to see if anyone down here cares. He is looking to see if we care and love our brothers and sisters, especially those who have turned from Him. Intercessory prayer is a powerful tool. Moses and Abraham are just two examples of how it changed the lives of others, and maybe even the course of history.
In order to stand in that breach before Almighty God, we first have to look at our own lives and as Jesus tells us in Luke 6, take the beam from our own eye so as to remove the splinter from our brother's.
Lent is a great time to do this, especially as we prepare for Holy Week and Easter. Let's melt those golden calves of ours and put Jesus, our King, our hope, and our joy in their place, and then let us pray for those who do not know Him or love Him.

Note: I mentioned Abraham in this post. You can read a related post I wrote based on the teaching of Pope Benedict XVI: Abraham and Intercessory Prayer

Comments

Wow ... this is one of the best posts I have read on Blogland for some time.

God bless.

P.S. How about putting it on the Community Blog?
Karinann said…
Thanks Victor. Way ahead of you- just wanted to be sure no one else had anything scheduled o the Community blog first.
mary333 said…
Amen! Amen! Amen! I second Victor's comment!

I also know of another place where, God-incidentally, this needs to be. Funny how it would fit in perfectly, isn't it? This is what I meant when I said that good portions are already in place and simply need fitting in like puzzle pieces.

I'll e-mail you within the next two days :)

God bless!
Caroline said…
Karinann, Thank you for reminding me of the importance of removing the beam from my own eye before I stand in the breach for my brother.
I hope and pray the Lord helps me melt whatever is left of my golden calves before Lent is over.

Beautiful post.

Blessings and +
Karinann said…
Thanks Mary and Caroline.
Caroline, I know what you mean-that pesky beam keeps making an appearance in my eye more often than I'd care to admit.

Mary, I agree the Holy Spirit seems to be at work already. We are having a parish mission this week and last night Father talked about faith and cultivating joy. I almost jumped out of my pew when I heard him say this. And this post has been in my head for a week simmering until today, so I do see pieces fitting together :)
Michael said…
I remember the first time I realized that just because I didnt worship a bronze statue did not mean I wasnt committing the same sins the Israelites did. It hurt. Kinda like my actions hurt Our Father.

Great post. God Bless.
Karinann said…
I know what you mean, Michael,and the Israelites didn't have 2000 years of salvation history to learn from like we do.
noreen said…
Hi Karinann, very powerful post that brings to light "golden calves" and like Michael said..."just because I didn't worship a bronze statue didn't mean I wasn't committing the same sin." Idols are all around us and I must remember to see them as such and avoid it!
Karinann said…
Thanks for stopping by with your thoughts on this one, Noreen. Yes, our idols come in many shapes and forms.