Joshua 3:7-11, 13-17 / Matthew 18:21 - 19:1
To cross a river is certainly not an easy task. Rivers may vary in width but a river is still a river and there are also undercurrents that may not be noticeable on the surface of the water.
The 1st reading recalls the Israelites crossing the Jordan river into the Promised Land. Though it may not be as dramatic as when they crossed the Red Sea, nonetheless a river is still a river, and with the waters being stopped for the Israelites to cross over, then a miracle is still a miracle.
What is important is that it was the Lord who paved the way for them. It was He who stopped the flowing waters of the river when the priests carrying the ark of the covenant set their feet in the waters of the Jordan river.
And the ark of the covenant remained in the middle of the river until the whole nation had crossed over.
A spiritual aspect that can be drawn from this river crossing is that the Lord God must be our first, our last, and our in-between option whenever we have to make decisions as to which direction to take or what to do.
More often that not, we turn to the Lord as our last option, when all other options had failed for us.
But in the crossing of the Jordan river, the ark of the covenant carried by the priests, which represents the presence of the Lord God, was the first to step into the river, and the last to step out of it.
So in the various aspects of our lives, especially in the area of forgiveness, let us turn to the Lord God to step into our hearts and to soften it so that we can cross the waters of anger, resentment and bitterness towards the peace of forgiveness and reconciliation.
May we always turn to the Lord in all things, because He wants to be our first, our last and our in-between choice.