Exodus 9:1

Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go in to Pharaoh, and say to him, 'Thus says the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, "Let my people go", that they may serve me.'


God is not just the Creator.  He is the Liberator.  One of the curious reversals in our very politicized age is that many people grow up hearing tepid lectures about "liberation from sin" and (since our culture conflates "sin" with "loss of bourgeois respectability") they get the idea that liberation from sin is no big deal.  Then, when they get a bit older and discover politics they decide that "true liberation" is political liberation.  Thus, such folks think it a very telling revelation of their own political savvy when they point out that the people who experienced the Exodus were not thinking about some coming Messiah who would liberate them from sin, but merely about getting out of chains.  The Catholic reply to this is "Duh."  Of course the freed slaves savored their liberation from chains and were not a nation of mystics and theologians foreseeing in their Exodus an image of the death of Jesus and our liberation from sin.  They could barely see beyond their next meal, as Moses complained repeatedly.  But who says that the full meaning of any major historical event is revealed in a single blinding flash?  As with most such events, God left Israel to chew it over for a very long time.  When they did, it eventually became clear that to serve God took more than mere political freedom.  It required interior freedom too since getting out of Egypt is only half the problem: you have to get Egypt out of your soul.  That's what Jesus has come to do: destroy the Egypt within.

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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