- Moses' sandals
In the middle of the burning bush, God showed his presence
to Moses by revealing his name, a name of multiple meanings:
"I am who I am". But before God asked him: " Remove
your sandals because you stand on a holy place".
Sandals are a protection against the contact with the ground,
thorns, stones and bumps. Wherever we go, they protect us from
being wounded by the road.
By removing our sandals, we feel more the ground, its telluric
energy, its cosmic life.
- We feel the street with its violence, its poor or any
kind of victims of social exclusion. It is like to be rooted
in a desperate society, a world lacking of breath. By removing
our sandals, we become vulnerable, fragile, without protection
and we become sensitive to others, to their misfortune as well
as to their happiness.
We remove our sandals in sign of respect before entering in
a "sacred" space. We step through a threshold: we leave
a daily and secular surrounding to enter a sacred one. Once the
prayer is finished, we put on our sandals to go back to our secular
The idea of a sacred thing is a pagan idea. We still have it:
the ground is sacred, even war. We make sacred the space reserved
for the cult, the temples and their personnel and even the objects
can be sacred. All of these receive a code, a specific sign.
A world is put apart, separated. We put God, "the Highest",
in this sacred environment, keeping for us our planet earth.
We have offered bloody sacrifices, human sacrifices to this kind
of Moloch-God. Facing the sacred world, we are both fascinated
and scared; we are shaking, reduced to nothing.
But some thing has happened to us. At Jesus' death, the veil
of the Temple broke in two pieces, from top to bottom, when Jesus
put himself in the hands of the Father. He has open a new space:
" We went beyond the veil where Jesus went the first among
us" (Heb. 6, 19). We have been introduced into the sanctuary
as a sacerdotal people.
We should not come back to a pagan point of view on the world
and the life. We are within Christ and we got a foothold in a
holy place, the one of Jesus. It is known that "in the old
time to put a foot on a field or to throw a sandal on it, meant
to take possession of a land after concluding a sale" (Ruth,
When Yahweh says to Moses: "Remove your sandals because
you are walking on a holy ground" was He not speaking to
all men and women who, after Jesus, will enter in a holy life
as receiving a new property, a new land? This place is holy for
every human being who is without protection and defenseless.
(Highlights of a homily given by a woman
in a Parisian parish)