We are an Easter people! Print
Written by Mary C. Uhler   
Thursday, Mar. 31, 2016 -- 12:00 AM

Over Easter weekend, I watched the 2014 movie Exodus: Gods and Kings, which tells the epic story of Moses and his flight from Egypt to the promised land.

This Ridley Scott film seems to be based fairly accurately on Scripture. After seeing the movie, I did need to do some research into the actual biblical passages to find out who was who. My knowledge of the Old Testament is limited, I discovered.

I was not aware that Moses was married (his wife’s name is Zipporah) and he had one or two sons. He actually lived as a shepherd for many years before God appeared to him out of a burning bush and told him to lead the Hebrews out of Egypt.

God’s involvement

In the movie, God is portrayed as a boy — or the boy is a messenger from God. When Moses is reluctant to do what God commands, he asks why God Himself had waited 400 years to free His people from slavery in Egypt.

What struck me was God’s response. He said that the Hebrew people had 400 years to do something to free themselves, and they didn’t do it. God tells Moses that He would help him and Moses should watch what happens. Then God sent the 10 increasingly destructive plagues to Egypt.

The last plague — which horrified Moses — was the death of all firstborn children. Moses is instructed to tell the Hebrews to protect themselves by covering their doors with the blood of lambs. Their own children were saved.

This was the first “passover,” which God later instructed his people to observe. We Christians continue the observance with Jesus as the “lamb of God” at the Last Supper and in every Mass.

It’s up to us

However, my point in all of this is to remind us that God — while He does help us and sacrificed His own Son for us — ultimately wants us to take charge of our own lives.

Jesus reminded His disciples of this after He rose from the dead. After His crucifixion, the apostles were huddled in the Upper Room. Jesus appeared to them and said, “Peace be with you.” In Mark’s Gospel, He asks them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see.”

Then He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms.” Then He opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.

He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”

We are sent forth

Jesus commissioned the apostles to be his witnesses in the world. As we know, it wasn’t until the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost that they finally got the power to go forth to do God’s work.

The stories of Moses and the apostles reveal that even God’s closest followers were not perfect. They had doubts and imperfections, just like we do. They didn’t respond immediately to God’s call.

These days, we may become discouraged by what’s happening around us in our own families, our communities, and the world. We may be disheartened by the indifference, the lack of charity, and the violence we see around us.

We still have to cling to our faith and hope in a better world. And we have to do our part to change the world. We can certainly pray for God’s help to strengthen us so we act as his disciples, especially during this Easter season.

St. John Paul II is quoted as saying, “Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.”

Let’s remember his words and live joyfully as followers of Christ!