The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides children. A mixed crowd also went up with them, and livestock in great numbers, both flocks and herds. They baked unleavened cakes of the dough that they had brought out of Egypt; it was not leavened, because they were driven out of Egypt and could not wait, nor had they prepared any provisions for themselves. The time that the Israelites had lived in Egypt was four hundred thirty years.
At the end of four hundred thirty years, on that very day, all the companies of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. That was for the Lord a night of vigil, to bring them out of the land of Egypt. That same night is a vigil to be kept for the Lord by all the Israelites throughout their generations.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
It’s been said that Moses had an easier job getting the people out of Egypt than getting Egypt out of the people.
This account of the liberation day from Egypt after more than 400 years of captivity seems almost effortless after so many false starts and broken promises by Pharaoh. Yet we will soon read about the desert relapses and tribulations – the enslavement, not in a literal sense but still real and profound that will continue to plague the community and grip hold. The tendency to lose trust, need proof, despair and covet what other groups have will endure as plagues of their own making.
In what areas of my life am I not free? Do I desire liberation? What steps are needed for this grace? What prayer might ask the Lord’s companionship in my journey to freedom?
-John Sealey is the provincial assistant for social and international ministries for the Chicago-Detroit and Wisconsin Jesuit provinces.
Lord, I pray to see myself through your loving eyes
To follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
To listen to what God is asking of me.
To trust in your desire for my freedom and joy.
To respond generously to those most in need.
And to bear witness to you in the ordinary happenings of this day.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team