“They shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten glory over Pharaoh.”
A reading from the Book of Exodus (Exodus14:5-18)
In those days: When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, the mind of Pharaoh and his servants was changed towards the people, and they said, “What is this we have done, that we have let Israel go from serving us?” So he made ready his chariot and took his army with him, and took six hundred picked chariots and all the other chariots of Egypt with officers over all of them. And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt and he pursued the sons of Israel as they went forth defiantly. The Egyptians pursued them, all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and his horsemen and his army, and overtook them encamped at the sea, by Pih-hiroth, in front of Baal-zephon. When Pharaoh drew near, the sons of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them; and they were in great fear. And the sons of Israel cried out to the Lord; and they said to Moses, “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us, in bringing us out of Egypt? Is not this what we said to you in Egypt, ‘Let us alone and let us serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never, see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be still.” The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward. Lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the sons of Israel may go on dry ground through the sea. And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they shall go in after them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, his chariots, and his horsemen. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten glory over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.”
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Exodus 15:1-2.3-4.5-6 (R.1a)
R/. I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously.
I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously;
The horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.
The Lord is my strength and my song,
And he has become my salvation;
This is my God, and I will praise him,
My father’s God, and I will exalt him. R.
The Lord is a man of war; the Lord is his name.
Pharaoh’s chariots and his host he cast into the sea;
and his picked officers are sunk in the Red Sea. R.
The floods cover them;
They went down into the depths like a stone.
Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power,
Your right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy. R.
Alleluia. Today, harden not your hearts, but listen to the voice of the Lord. Alleluia.
“The queen of the South will arise at the judgement with this generation.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 12:38-42)
At that time: Some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign; but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days’ and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will arise at the judgement with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. The queen of the South will arise at the judgement with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
The Hebrew people conveniently forgot all the mighty works of God when they saw the Egyptian army pursuing them. They began to murmur against God and complain against Moses. Instead of trusting in Yahweh’s power to deliver them, they gave themselves to their own fears. Despite their arrogance and ingratitude, Yahweh works yet another miracle for them, “do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the Lord will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today you shall never see again…” the Pharisees in today’s gospel behaved the same way as the ungrateful Hebrews. They asked for yet another sign from Jesus. He called them an evil and ungrateful generation. The Psalm reminds us that we need to continuously sing the wonders of God in our life: “I will sing to the Lord, glorious his triumph!”