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"A Good and Spacious Land"



Ring of Kerry, Ireland: author's photo
Isn't that a beautiful phrase: "a good and spacious land"? It's from Exodus 3:8, as God is giving Moses his commission to help free the Israelites.

I think it sounds like the title of a great book or story, maybe something by Flannery O'Connor. Of course, if it was something she wrote it would be a rather dark look at the good and spacious land.

We need to remember that Scripture is not dead - it's not simply stories of long ago, or lessons to people in another place and time. Scripture is the living Word of God. It has meaning for us, here, now, today.

There was something about that phrase that resonated with me as I was praying the other morning. "A good and spacious land." God promised that to the Israelites, and He promises it to us. (Keep in mind it took the Israelites a hard 40 years to get there.)

Last year was a very difficult year for our family. My husband and I hoped this year would be better, and it is. Yet, our lives are not simply made up of segments of time: a good year, a bad year. They are made of moments (the joy of our daughter's wedding, the love we share with our goddaughter) and made up of events, rites of passage, our friends and family. We live our lives - if we are faithful - in this good and spacious land.

Even in a land that is good, spacious, and flowing with milk and honey, there are bitter herbs to be tasted, chewed, gulped down. Like the Israelites, we have to struggle to figure out where God is leading us, why He has chosen the route He has for us. We often don't see the good and spacious land because we are so caught up in "bitter herbs" that dot the landscape.

We also have an interior life that God desires to be a good and spacious land. Our sense of God who resides in us, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, should we be in a state of grace. Our connection with God through prayer and meditation. The grace of the sacraments. The realization of blessings in every moment of every day.

"A good and spacious land." God desires this home for us eternally as well.

A good and spacious land. How good is our God!

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