«Lord,to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68
Thursday, 22 March 2007
Thursday of the Fourth week of Lent
Today the Church celebrates : St Nicholas Owen, St Lea
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Saint Aphrahate :"Ifyou had believed Moses, you would have believed me"
Book of Exodus32,7-14.
With that, the LORD said to Moses, "Go down at once to your people, whomyou brought out of the land of Egypt, for they have become depraved.They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them, making forthemselves a molten calf and worshiping it, sacrificing to it and crying out,'This is your God, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt!'I see how stiff-necked this people is," continued the LORD to Moses."Let me alone, then, that my wrath may blaze up against them to consumethem. Then I will make of you a great nation."But Moses implored the LORD, his God, saying, "Why, O LORD, should yourwrath blaze up against your own people, whom you brought out of the land ofEgypt with such great power and with so strong a hand?Why should the Egyptians say, 'With evil intent he brought them out, that hemight kill them in the mountains and exterminate them from the face of theearth'? Let your blazing wrath die down; relent in punishing your people.Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, and how you swore to themby your own self, saying, 'I will make your descendants as numerous as thestars in the sky; and all this land that I promised, I will give yourdescendants as their perpetual heritage.'"So the LORD relented in the punishment he had threatened to inflict on hispeople.
At Horeb they fashioned a calf, worshiped a metal statue.
They exchanged their glorious God for the image of a grass-eating bull.
They forgot the God who saved them, who did great deeds in Egypt,
Amazing deeds in the land of Ham, fearsome deeds at the Red Sea.
He would have decreed their destruction, had not Moses, the chosen leader,Withstood him in the breach to turn back his destroying anger.
Holy Gospel ofJesus Christ according to Saint John 5,31-47.
If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony cannot be verified.But there is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that thetestimony he gives on my behalf is true.You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth.I do not accept testimony from a human being, but I say this so that you maybe saved.He was a burning and shining lamp, and for a while you were content torejoice in his light.But I have testimony greater than John's. The works that the Father gave meto accomplish, these works that I perform testify on my behalf that theFather has sent me.Moreover, the Father who sent me has testified on my behalf. But you havenever heard his voice nor seen his form,and you do not have his word remaining in you, because you do not believe inthe one whom he has sent.You search the scriptures, because you think you have eternal life throughthem; even they testify on my behalf.But you do not want to come to me to have life.I do not accept human praise;moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you.I came in the name of my Father, but you do not accept me; yet if anothercomes in his own name, you will accept him.How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another and do not seekthe praise that comes from the only God?Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father: the one who willaccuse you is Moses, in whom you have placed your hope.For if you had believed Moses, you would have believed me, because he wroteabout me.But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?"
Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB
Commentary of the day :
Saint Aphrahate (?-around 345), Monk and Bishop in Nineveh, near Mosul inpresent-day Iraq
"If you had believed Moses, you would have believedme"
Moses was persecuted, as Jesus waspersecuted. When Moses was born, they concealed him so that he might not beslain by his persecutors. When Jesus was born they carried him off in flightinto Egypt so that Herod, his persecutor, might not slay him. In the dayswhen Moses was born, children used to be drowned in the river; and at thebirth of Jesus the children of Bethlehem and in the area were slain. To MosesGod said: "Those who were seeking your life are dead " (Ex 4:19), and toJoseph the angel said in Egypt: "Arise, take up the child, and go into theland of Israel, for those who were seeking the life of the child are dead"(Mt 2:20). Moses brought out his people from slavery to Pharaoh; and Jesusdelivered all nations from slavery to Satan
When Moses sacrificed the lamb,the firstborn of Egypt were slain; and when they crucified him, Jesus becamethe true lamb
Moses brought down manna for his people; and Jesus gave hisbody to the nations. Moses sweetened the bitter waters by wood; and Jesussweetened our bitterness by his cross, by the wood of the tree of hiscrucifixion. Moses brought the Law down to his people; and Jesus gave hiscovenants to the nations. Moses conquered Amalek by the spreading out of hishands; and Jesus conquered Satan by the sign of his cross.
Moses brought out water from the rock forhis people; and Jesus sent Simon Peter (the rock) to carry his doctrine amongthe nations. Moses lifted up the veil from his face and spoke with God; andJesus lifted up the veil from the face of the nations, that they might hearand receive his doctrine (2 Co 3:16). Moses laid his hand upon his messengersand they received priesthood; and Jesus laid his hands upon his apostles, andthey received the Holy Spirit. Moses ascended the mountain and died there;and Jesus ascended into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of hisFather.
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