Homily – October 16, 2016

I want you to use your imagination and fantasize a bit with me. Imagine a tried old man. He’s grown old and weary leading a rebellious and stiff necked people through hostile lands toward a land God promised them would be following with milk and honey. His was a long journey filled with conflict and contradictions. The only thing that kept him going was his belief that God would be faithful to God’s promise even in the midst of everything pointing to the opposite.

Today we see him facing a hostile clan leader named Amalek who was protecting his territory from these wandering strangers. There’s going to be a fight. Moses was convinced God was on his side. His plan was to send Joshua and whatever fighters he had to do battle with Amalek. When they joined in the fighting Moses held up the staff of God, the staff with which Moses parted to sea of reeds so that the people would escape the advancing Egyptian army.

As long as Moses lifted the staff of God high his fighters were winning. But Moses was an old and weary man and his arms began to droop. When that happened, the tide of the battle turned against his fighters. Moses’ brother Arron and his friend Hur were with him on the hill overlooking the battle field. They came up with a bright idea. They sat Moses on a rock and standing on either side of him they held his arms up, they were steady until the sun set and Joshua defeated Amalek.

St. Paul compares the living of a Christ life to a battle. A battle with the forces of evil within ourselves or around us. A battle between the good we would do and the evil we would not do. Paul encourages us to put on the breastplate of faith and love, the helmet of hope in our fight against the powers of darkness, enemies that would lure us away from God and the ways of God.

Much of life can be a battle, a struggle and like Moses we need our own Aarons and Hurs. We need family members and friends to be with us and support us, hold up our weakened spirits as we wait for the results of a test that could change our lives.

When there are misunderstands and conflicts in a marriage or a relationship we need our Aarons and Hurs to advise us, keep us calm, restrain our urge to get nasty and say things we may regret. We need their help to come to a resolution of our misunderstandings.

Supporting aging parents who keep forgetting who they are, who we are, where they are, can be so wearying, draining. Yet we might be too embarrassed to accept the support of an Aaron or Hur who comes to help in the person of a care giver or a family friend. But we need them.

There can be times in our own personal lives when we are conscious of our own weakness of mind or body that challenge us to seek out and accept the help our own Aaron or Hur who will support us in a difficult time,

Facing and coping with a loss of a job because of downsizing can be rough, it’s embarrassing. Misguided pride might hold back from asking an Aaron or Hur we know in the business for help.

We all need an Aaron of a Hur to give us the courage the boldness to confront racism and bigotry, the fear of the other, the fear of the different that is raising its ugly head in these times especially if we are watching the election race south of the border.

Men and women in AA meetings or in support groups are truly an Aaron and a Hur to one another in their battles with addictions and their search for mental wellness.

If and when we become discouraged with our church or confused about our relationship with God, hopefully we’ll look for an Aaron of and a Hur as spiritual guides.

At one time or another in our lives we will need an Aaron and Hur to support and help us through a difficult time. May we have the humility to ask for help.

At one time or another in our lives we may be asked to be an Aaron or Hur for a friend or stranger in need. May we have the generosity to say ‘yes’. Something to think about.