Monday of week 16 in Ordinary Time

Exodus 14:5-18; Exodus 15:1-6; Matthew 12:38-42

The story that is so well known, and given to us in todays reading from Exodus. of the drowning of Pharos's army does present us with some difficulty when analysed with other contemporary records. There are no records of Pharos's entire army drowning in the sea - surely there would be?

It is probable - and not at all inconsistent with the then nature of story telling and (much) later writing down, that a real event becomes magnified in the re-telling. There are shallow lakes in the area the Israelites would have passed through escaping the army, and given a strong wind (from the East, we are old) they could have partially emptied, leaving a boggy but passable area on foot. The local boarder protection force, pursuing on horse and cart would have got stuck, and if that wind dropped, then the water would return making their problems worse - especially if they panicked.

The nature of this type of writing, much as with parables, needs us to look for the meaning behind the story. However appalling the situation, God has, over and over again, provided a solution - and this continues in our day. From Jonah, buried in the tomb of a whale's stomach for three days, linked to the three day burial of Christ - we see a deeper meaning emerges later.

"The Lord will do the fighting for you - you only have to keep still!"

Posted in Daily Reflection.