We’ve been hearing readings from Exodus in our daily masses these past couple of weeks. Today we hear about the Israelites fleeing into the desert through the Red Sea, and how God saved them from the Egyptian forces who were pursuing them. Israel had a lot of doubts about how God would protect them on that journey. We all probably have doubts about our safety on our own journeys at time – it is natural to feel that way, as we might even sometimes feel abandoned by God just as the Israelites did.
We are getting ready to have our own mini-pilgrimage walk this weekend in conjunction with the Year of Faith. The saint we celebrate today, Bridget of Sweden, was named one of the Patron Saints of Europe in 1999 by John Paul II, along with Edith Stein (a Carmelite nun who died in a concentration camp in World War II), St Benedict of Nursia, St Cyril and St Methodius, and St Catherine of Siena – a very esteemed and select group. I thought of Bridget’s journey to Santiago de Compostela in Spain that she made with her husband way back in the early 14th century. Bridget didn’t get on a jet plain in her native Sweden to fly to Pamplona to start her journey – it was a arduous journey from Sweden all the way to Spain. After her husband’s death, she founded a group of nuns and monks that still has a presence today in our world. In fact, the only group of Bridgittine monks that exists today is in Oregon here in the United States.
I think of our own journeys, how they can be very arduous and difficult at times, how the suffering might seem to have no end in sight. The Israelites made it through the desert and St Bridget made it through her journey as well – all with the help of the Lord. Let us give thanks to the Lord at all times on our journey, thanking him for the way he accompanies us along the way.