Moses stretched out his hand over the sea,
and the LORD swept the sea
with a strong east wind throughout the night
and so turned it into dry land.
When the water was thus divided,
the children of Israel marched into the midst of the sea on dry land,
with the water like a wall to their right and to their left.
I wonder how this works out for everyone else? What does it take to get the sea to part so that one can escape trouble and begin a journey to the promised land. The Old Testament description is dramatic, though I doubt I will see this event occur in my lifetime. Instinctively though I can imagine the truth in this biblical description. I have heard that in Jewish folklore this sea does not part until the first person jumps in.In reading this today, I also cant help but reflect on in in the light of yesterdays readings on Mary Magdalene and even today’s saint, Saint Bridget. The reason they come so into focus is because in a way they got that sea to part,and got to the other side so that they could reach the promised land.
In Mary Magdalene’s story there is that Exodus as she leaves her seven demons behind and journeys to sainthood. It was her ability to choose “the better part” in listening to the word of God in the person of Jesus the Christ that allowed her to cross into that new life. In Mary’s life the gospels hint that her life was troubled before being healed by Christ. Like the Hebrews her spiritual journey was one from trouble to salvation. It was a true Exodus, and as dramatic as Moses parting of the sea.
In Bridget’s story though, there are no great troubles to escape, she led a comfortable life married to a prince and raised a family. Her and her husband raised their family while fully practicing their Christian faith. After 28 years of marriage her husband passed away.After his passing she continued to practice her faith and eventually founded a religious order,the Bridgettines. In Saint Bridget those waters parted at her baptism. She was one who fully led an active and also a contemplative life in Christ.She solved the enigmatic dilemma of Martha and Mary. In the gospel reading, while Jesus was preaching someone tells him “your Mother and brothers are out side”, to which he replied with hands outstretched (just like Moses!): “Here are my mother and my brothers.For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.” Bridget and Mary Magdalene fit this description as they are able to do that will of the heavenly father. The proof is in the waters that part.