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1st JANUARY, BIBLE READING I (NUMBERS 6:22-27)

The Lord spoke to Moses and said, “Say this to Aaron and his sons: ‘This is how you are to bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them:

“‘May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord let his face shine on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord uncover his face to you and bring you peace.’ This is how they are to call down my name on the sons of Israel, and I will bless them.”

V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.

 
 

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BEFORE OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST’S SACRIFICE ON THE CROSS, WHY DID THE ISRAELITES DO ANIMAL SACRIFICES IN THE BIBLE?

THE ISRAELITES IN THE OLD TESTAMENT OF THE BIBLE USED TO OFFER HOLOCAUSTS, ENGAGED IN RITUAL WASHING ETC.

LOVING GOD – UNIVERSAL LOVE

1. LEARNING TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER

“The covenant and the Mosaic code are God’s instruments for the forging of the Chosen People of God. Through them God will make for Himself a people fit to represent Him to the world.

As God’s people the Israelites are bound to worship Him only. Their worship must be founded and spring from love. ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul and with thy whole strength’ (Deuteronomy 6:5). The first three Commandments established God as the centre of the lives of the Israelites. All their actions, all their daily living is to be transformed by, informed by their loving worship of God.

A STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT

This loving union with God will be the foundation of the love of men for one another. The Israelite must honour his father and mother, respect the rights of his neighbour, neither envying him his possessions nor coveting them.

The love of neighbour which the Commandments give as a guide for human behaviour highlights the fact that all men belong to the same family, they are all equally the descendants of Adam and, more importantly, they are all made in the image and likeness of God; they are all alike God’s erring children, children whom God loves, children whom God wills to save.

STILL FAR FROM THE FULLNESS OF CHRISTIAN LOVE

But at Mount Sinai this universal law of love cannot be extended universally and simply to all men. God tells the Israelites that they must not intermarry with the Canaanites when they enter the land of Canaan. They must destroy the Canaanite temples to false gods and, if necessary, destroy the Canaanites themselves.

2. HISTORICAL CIRCUMSTANCES

This strong attitude toward the Canaanites might seem shocking to minds already accustomed to the fullness of Christian love. But in its historical circumstances it can be seen as prudent. It was made necessary by the weakness of man. As a people of God the Israelites were still children. Their defection to the Golden Calf proves this. If they were to intermarry with the Canaanites they would be in danger of deserting the true God for false gods. The Canaanites, in their turn, with minds darkened by polytheism and idolatry and even cultural immorality, would strive to draw Israel away from its loyalty to Jahweh. Granting the real weakness of the Israelites and the real ignorance and wickedness of the Canaanites, and granting the importance to the human race of belief in the one true God, the Mosaic attitude toward the Canaanites seems a practical necessity. The necessity is founded not only on the divine justice, on the divine severity toward the crime of polytheism and idolatry, but also on the weakness of men.

In pursuit of man God has chosen to Himself a people. But the people must be trained, they must be educated in the knowledge and the worship of the true God. They must be taught to worship God in the way which God Himself desires. The core, the heart of this training is to be found in the ritual legislation of the Mosaic code.

THE JEWISH LAWS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

The first lesson of the ritual prescriptions of the code is the dominion of God. God is the omnipotent creator of the universe. Everything in the universe, even man himself, belongs to God. Man must recognise this primary, fundamental fact. The Mosaic code calls attention to this in several ways. First of all there is the great Commandment to adore God alone. God’s ownership of the universe is made real to the people by the law commanding that the first-fruits of their labours must be given to God.

‘Thou shalt carry the first-fruits of the corn of thy ground to the house of the Lord thy God’ (Exodus 23:19). This law extends even to man himself: ‘Thou shalt give the first-born of thy sons to me’ (Exodus 22:29). One day a week is to be devoted to God: ‘Six days shall you do work: the seventh day, because it is the rest of the sabbath, shall be called holy. You shall do no work on that day: it is the sabbath of the Lord in all your habitations’ (Leviticus 23:3).

Three times a year all the men of the people must appear before God to worship Him: at the feast of the Pasch and of the unleavened bread, at the harvest of the first-fruits and at the harvest at the end of the year. In addition the first day of each month was a feast-day on which special holocausts and sin-offerings were made to God. Finally, on the day of Atonement the whole nation was to enter into the spirit of atonement for sin. In all these ritual celebrations the dominion of God was made the central theme of the life of the Israelites.

THE REASON BEHIND THE JEWISH FESTIVAL CELEBRATIONS

In the rites performed on these days the Israelites were reminded both of God’s dominion over them and of their sinfulness in His sight. If the sacrifice were a holocaust, or whole-burnt offering, the total consumption of the victim symbolised God’s total dominion over the offerer. To make sure that this was surely understood such offerings must be of victims ‘without blemish’ (Leviticus 1:3). Man must sacrifice to God of his best possessions; he must hold nothing back from the Lord. Moreover, his offering is made in expiation of sin: ‘… He shall put his hand upon the head of the victim: and it shall be acceptable and help to its expiation’ (Leviticus 1:4).

The ‘feast of weeks’ at the early harvest and the ‘feast of tabernacles’ at the late harvest emphasised both God’s ownership of the world and man’s duty to thank God for His benefactions to men. The ‘day of Atonement’ made the Israelites realise the need for repentance from sin. The great feast of the ‘pash and of the unleavened bread’ recalled to the Israelites the great historical fact that it was God who had rescued them from slavery in the land of Egypt, and reminded them that their trust should be only in God.

With this insistence on the dominion of God, with this persistent emphasis on the all-pervading influence of God in their lives, the Mosaic code was God’s way of reversing the course of human history. By his sin Adam had set the whole race of man marching away from God. In the Mosaic legislation God sets man back on the proper path. Through sin man seeks to be independent of God. By obeying the prescription of the Mosaic code the Israelites acknowledge their utter dependence on God.

3. GOD AT WORK UNDOING THE WORK OF ADAM AND THE DEVIL

THE ARK AND THE TABERNACLE

The second great lesson of the ritual legislation is that God is present to His people. In accordance with God’s wishes and with the commands of Moses the people build an ark and a tabernacle (or tent). The ark and the tabernacle provide the people with a place to worship God. But more importantly they provide a habitation in which God Himself dwells. God Himself promises to dwell there: “And they shall make me a sanctuary: and I will dwell in the midst of them’ (Exodus 25:8). When the tabernacle is finished God comes to dwell in it: ‘The cloud covered the tabernacle of the testimony, and the glory of the Lord filled it. Neither could Moses go into the tabernacle of the covenant, the cloud covering all things, and the majesty of the Lord shining: for the cloud had covered all’ (Exodus 40:32-33).

Once again, in this covenant between God and the Israelites we see God undoing the work of Adam and the devil. Adam had dwelt in the garden of paradise and talked familiarly with God. He had lived in God’s presence. But tempted by Satan he had forsaken God, and God cast him out of the garden and out of God’s presence. Now through the covenant with Israel God returns to man to dwell with Him and to guide him.

THE HOLINESS REQUIRED OF GOD’S CHOSEN PEOPLE

The next great lesson of the ritual legislation is the holiness of God and the holiness required of His chosen people. ‘For I am the Lord your God. Be holy because I am holy… You shall be holy because I am holy’ (Leviticus 11:44, 46).

The holiness of God is shown in the minute prescription for the building of the ark and the tabernacle and the furnishings of the tabernacle. Only fine materials and silver and gold and bronze and jewels are to be used. The ark, the tabernacle and all its furnishings are to be anointed with ‘holy oil’ (Exodus 30:25). ‘And thou shalt sanctify all: and they shall be most holy. He that shalt touch them shall be sanctified’ (Exodus 30:29).

A special priesthood is chosen by God to minister unto Him, and the priests must be sanctified to the Lord: ‘Thou shalt anoint Aaron and his sons, and shalt sanctify them: that they may do the office of priesthood unto me’ (Exodus 30:30).

RITUAL WASHING

God is so holy that his priests must wash their hands and their feet in a laver of water before they minister to Him. ‘And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Thou shalt make also a brazen laver with its foot, to wash in; and thou shalt set it between the tabernacle of the testimony and the altar. And water being put into it, Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and feet in it: when they are going to the tabernacle of the testimony, and when they are to come to the altar, to offer on it incense to the Lord: lest perhaps they die. It shall be an everlasting law to him, and to his seed by successions’ (Exodus 30:17-21).

God is so holy that the priests who minister to Him must be consecrated and sanctified for their work, ‘Take unto thee also Aaron thy brother with his sons, from among the children of Israel, that they may minister to me in the priest’s office… And thou shalt consecrate the hands of them all, and shalt sanctify them: that they may do the office of priesthood unto me’ (Exodus 28:1 , 41).

ANOINTING

The thoroughness of the ceremony of consecration indicates both the holiness required in the priests who are to approach God and the holiness of God. Aaron and his sons are to be consecrated for seven days. A calf, two rams and other offerings are to be made. The priestly vestments must be anointed and sanctified. The altar must be sanctified. Aaron and his sons must be anointed on the head and hands. Their hands must be consecrated for seven days. The altar must be sanctified for seven days. A calf was sacrificed every day for seven days as an expiation for sin. The elaborate and lengthy ceremonial emphasises the holiness required in the priests of God.

The Levites, who are chosen to assist the priests, must also be purified for this service: ‘And thou shalt set the Levites in the sight of Aaron and his sons: and shalt consecrate them being offered to the Lord. And shalt separate them from the midst of the children of Israel, to be mine. And afterwards they shall enter into the tabernacle of the covenant, to serve me. And thus shalt thou purify and consecrate them for an oblation of the Lord: for as a gift they were given me by the children of Israel’ (Numbers 8:13-15).

THE HOLY OF HOLIES

God is so holy that no one but the High Priest may enter the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle, where God dwells. And the High Priest may do this only once a year, on the ‘day of Atonement.’ Moreover, when he enters the Holy of Holies, he must sprinkle it with the blood of a calf ‘and may expiate the sanctuary from the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and from their transgressions and all their sins. According to this rite shall he do to the tabernacle of the testimony, which is fixed among them in the midst of the filth of their habitation’ (Leviticus 16:16). Now, since no one ever enters the Holy of Holies except the High Priest, and he only on one occasion, it is clear that the Holy of Holies itself does not need purification. The ceremony indicates rather that God is so holy that He abhors the sinfulness of the people amidst whom He dwells.

Not only is God holy, but His Chosen People must be holy: ‘You shall be holy because I am holy’ (Leviticus 11:46). The priests and Levites, as we have already seen, must be purified so that they may minister worthily in God’s sight. Since the people are really sinful, sacrifices are offered in expiation of their sins. In atonement for sin incense must be burned twice a day on the altar of incense, and ‘Aaron shall pray upon the horns thereof once a year, with the blood of that which was offered for sin: and you shall make atonement upon it in your generations’ (Exodus 30:10). The sprinkling of the blood of sacrificial victims upon the altar of holocaust has the character of atonement: ‘Because the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you, that you may make atonement with it upon the altar for your souls, and the blood may be for an expiation of the soul’ (Leviticus 17:11). The ‘day of Atonement’ was celebrated once a year to atone for the sins of the people during the preceding year.

In a more positive way the people are to seek holiness by keeping the Commandments and the prescriptions of the Mosaic Law. In fact God said to the Chosen People: ‘Sanctify yourselves and be ye holy, because I am the Lord your God. Keep my precepts and do them. I am the Lord that sanctify you’ (Leviticus 16).

THE LESSON OF MEDIATION

The last great lesson of the Mosaic code is the lesson of mediation. The people approach God through their priests, and God speaks to the people through his priests, through a race of priests chosen by Himself. Only the priests officiate at the altars. Only the High Priest may enter the Holy of Holies, where God Himself is present.

The High Priest represents the people in the sight of God. This role as mediator is given to the High Priest by express divine command: ‘And thou shalt take two onyx stones: and shalt grave upon them the names of the children of Israel: six names on one stone, and the other six on the other: according to the order of their birth. With the work of an engraver and the graving of a jeweller, thou shalt engrave them with the names of the children of Israel, set in gold and compassed about. And thou shalt put them in both sides of the ephod: a memorial for the children of Israel. And Aaron shall bear their names before the Lord upon both shoulders for a remembrance… Thou shalt make also a plate of the purest gold: wherein thou shalt grave with engraver’s work: HOLY TO THE LORD. And thou shalt tie it with a violet fillet: and it shalt be upon the mitre, hanging over the forehead of the High Priest. And Aaron shall bear the iniquities of those things which the children of Israel have offered and sanctified, in all their gifts and offerings. And the plate shall be always on his forehead, that the Lord may be well pleased with them’ (Exodus 28::9-12, 36-38).

Thus, through the law of Moses, God intends to raise up to Himself a godly people, holy as He is Holy. Through the law the people of Israel become holy, holy in principle, if not in fact. As the representative of the people, the High Priest bears on his forehead the legend HOLY TO THE LORD. At the foot of Sinai the Chosen People are not yet holy in fact. But by entering into a covenant with God, by embracing the Mosaic law, they set their feet upon the path of holiness. The law will teach them the majesty and dominion of God, the ineffable holiness of God, their own obligation to become holy, their obligation to atone for their sins.

THE IGNORANCE AND WEAKNESS OF MEN

As a pledge of the faithfulness of His promises and to encourage the Chosen People to fulfil their contract with God, God comes to dwell with them, to dwell in the tabernacle, in the Holy of Holies.

But God knows the ignorance and the weakness of men, even of the nation He has chosen to be the vehicle of salvation to the world. Consequently He appeals frequently throughout the Mosaic code to the memory of what He has already done for His people: He has rescued them from bondage in Egypt. To keep this memory of His love and power alive, to confirm their faith in God’s promises, the Chosen People must celebrate annually the feast of the Pasch and of the unleavened bread.”
– Martin J. Healy, 1959

 

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THE SALVATION HISTORY OF ALL MANKIND AS REVEALED IN THE BIBLE: ISRAEL’S LIBERATION FROM SLAVERY IN EGYPT

THE CHOSEN PEOPLE – THE LIBERATION (FROM THE BOOK OF EXODUS)

“God Himself had foretold the sojourn of the Chosen People in the land of Egypt. On one occasion when He was testing the faith of Abraham, God said to him: ‘Know thou beforehand that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land not their own, and they shall bring them under bondage, and afflict them, four hundred years. But I will judge the nation they shall serve, and after this they shall come out with great substance’ (Genesis 15: 13-14).

THEIR LONG STAY IN EGYPT WAS BENEFICIAL

The stay in Egypt began well. Jacob, his sons and their families entered Egypt under favourable circumstances. Joseph, the son of Jacob, was ruling the empire for Pharaoh. Through his kindness the land of Gessen was given to them. There they prospered. Through the years they increased in numbers until they ‘filled the land’ (Exodus 1:7). No doubt… their long dwelling in Egypt was of great benefit to them. They learned the art of farming as practised by the Egyptians. They became aware of the value of a strong systematic government. They became acquainted with the arts and the artistic techniques of the Egyptians.

MEANWHILE, ABRAHAM’S DESCENDANTS HAD GROWN INTO A TRUE NATION

In the providence of God they were able to preserve their religious beliefs. This was made possible by the fact that they dwelled in a land of their own and were thus preserved from the contagion of the idolatrous and polytheistic beliefs and practices of the Egyptians. Some of them seem to have gone into the cities of the empire. Moses, their great leader, was probably born in or near the capital of Egypt. But the descendants of Abraham who dwelt in the cities would have been assisted in maintaining their religious beliefs by the example of their relatives who dwelt in Gessen.

For several hundred years, then, the Chosen People dwelt in Egypt, increasing in numbers until they formed a true nation, benefiting from the civilising factors of the Egyptian culture, and yet keeping alive and strong their faith in the God of their fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

THE SHEER SIZE OF A ‘NATION WITHIN A NATION’ POSED A SECURITY RISK

They became so numerous that a Pharaoh ‘who knew not Joseph’ began to fear them. As is usual in such cases his fear led him to oppress them. ‘Behold,’ he said, ‘the people of the children of Israel are numerous and stronger than we. Come, let us wisely oppress them, lest they multiply; and if any war shall rise against us, join with our enemies, and having overcome us, depart out of the land’ (Exodus 1:9-10).

The Israelites were impressed into forced labour. With their forced labour the Pharaoh built the storehouse cities of Pithom and Amesses. When even this severe oppression did not reduce their numbers the Pharaoh decreed that all male children of the Israelites should be killed at birth by the midwives. When the midwives failed to carry out this order, he ruled that all male infants should be cast into the river.

THE BIRTH OF MOSES

It was while this decree was in force that he was born whom God was to send to liberate the people from bondage in Egypt. The wife of a man of the tribe of Levi gave birth to a son. Desiring to save his life she hid him for three months. When she could hide him no longer she placed him in a basket of bulrushes and laid the basket by the edge of the river. She placed his sister near by to watch what would happen.

The daughter of the Pharaoh came to the river to bathe. When she saw the basket she sent one of her maids to fetch it to her. When she saw the infant she took compassion on it and decided to save it. The child’s sister came up and offered the services of a Hebrew woman to nurse the child. When Pharaoh’s daughter assented, the girl brought the child’s own mother to nurse it. When the child was grown Pharaoh’s daughter adopted him and called him Moses.

MOSES IS ADOPTED INTO THE EGYPTIAN ROYAL HOUSEHOLD

Because he was nursed and brought up by his own mother Moses retained his allegiance to his own people. But, as the adopted child of an Egyptian princess, he learned the ways of the Pharaoh’s court. This surely fitted him for the role of leader to his people to which God later called him.

MOSES KILLS AN EGYPTIAN OVERSEER

One day Moses saw one of the Egyptian overseers striking one of the Hebrew workmen. In his anger at this harsh treatment of one of his fellow-countrymen he slew the Egyptian. Some of his own brethren spread the story abroad, and when it came to the ears of the Pharaoh he determined to kill Moses, but Moses fled to the land of Midian. Here he married one of the daughters of Jethro, the priest of the Midianites.

THE ROLE OF MAN’S FREE WILL IN THE SALVATION HISTORY:

MOSES IS CHOSEN AS A LEADER

Meanwhile the oppression of the Israelites became so burdensome to them that they cried out to God to save them. God took pity upon them and set about their deliverance. He appeared to Moses near the Mountain Horeb. He appeared as a burning flame in the burning bush.

GOD APPEARS TO MOSES IN THE BURNING BUSH

He said to Moses: ‘I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob… I have seen the affliction of my people in Egypt and I have heard their cry: because of the rigour of them that are over the works. And knowing their sorrow I am come down to deliver them out of the hands of the Egyptians; and to bring them out of the land into a good and spacious land, into a land that floweth with milk and honey, to the places of the Chanaanite, and Hethite, and Amorrhite, and Pherezite, and Hevite and Jebusite. For the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have seen their affliction, wherewith they are oppressed by the Egyptians. But come, and I will send thee to Pharaoh, that thou mayst bring forth my people, the children of Israel out of Egypt’ (Exodus 3:6-10).

The encounter of God with Moses at the mountain Horeb reveals very clearly the role that free will plays in the history of man. In response to the pleas of His Chosen People God freely choses Moses to be the deliverer of the Jews. Nor does God destroy the free will of Moses by this choice.

Moses is very reluctant to accept the role to which God calls him. ‘Who am I,’ he protests, ‘that I should go to Pharaoh, and should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?’ (Exodus 3:11). When God insists that he will be the deliverer of the Israelites, Moses objects that ‘they will not believe me, nor hear my voice. But they will say: The Lord hath not appeared to thee’ (Exodus 4:1). God promises him that miracles will confirm his appointment. Moses still seeks to be relieved of the onerous task.

He pleads that he is not eloquent, and besides he has an impediment of speech. Then the Lord said to him: ‘Who made man’s mouth? Or who made the dumb and the deaf, the seeing and the blind? Did not I? Go therefore, and I will be in thy mouth; and I will teach thee what thou shalt speak. But he said: I beseech thee, Lord, send whom thou wilt send’ (Exodus 4:11-13).

Even though God is not pleased with this final protest of Moses, He still insists that He wants Moses to lead the people and He appoints Aaron, the brother of Moses, to act as the mouthpiece of Moses. Even at this critical point in the history of mankind God will not run roughshod over the free will of man. He accedes to all the requests of Moses. His plan for the salvation of mankind will be fulfilled, but only with man’s full cooperation. His almighty power will rescue man from the consequences of sin, but His power will be exercised with patience and even with the divine condescension of miracles.

‘I AM WHO I AM; I AM HE WHO CAUSES THINGS TO EXIST’

It is on this same occasion that God reveals to Moses the Name of God. ‘Moses said to God: Lo, I shall go to the children of Israel, and say to them: The God of your fathers has sent me to you. If they should say to me: What is his name? What shall I say to them? God said to Moses: I AM WHO I AM. He said: Thus shalt thou say to the children of Israel: HE WHO IS hath sent me to you’ (Exodus 3:13-14).

By this name – I AM WHO I AM – God revealed that His nature is existence; He is Himself the reason and the explanation of His own existence. Or it may be, in another meaning of the name, that He wished to call attention to the fact that He is the creator of the world, for the name can also mean ‘He Who causes existence,’ that is, He Who causes things to exist.

• [“PASSPORT REFUSED BY THE EGYPTIAN AUTHORITIES, NO VISA FOR THE ISRAELITES TO EMIGRATE”] •

WHEN THE EGYPTIAN GOVERNMENT IMPOSED EVEN MORE RESTRICTIONS ON THEM: MIRACLES OF THE TEN PLAGUES: FROGS, HAILSTONES, LOCUSTS ETC.

In response to God’s command Moses returns to Egypt to bring about the liberation of his people. But Pharaoh was not of a mind to let the Israelites go. In fact, his answer to Moses’ first request was to inflict even greater hardship upon the people. Moses appealed again to God and God promised to make Pharaoh let the Israelites depart.

To achieve this, God performed the miracle of the ten plagues. He turned the waters of the Nile to blood; He filled the land with frogs which eveninvaded houses; then He sent a plague of cinifs, followed by one of flies; after this the cattle were afflicted with disease; then boils afflicted both men nd beasts; then came a great hail, with stones sobig that they killed whatever men and beasts were out in the fields and destroyed the trees; the eighth plague was of locusts and the ninth, three days of darkness. But Pharaoh hardened his heart and would not let the Israelites go. Then the Lord said to Moses: ‘Yet one plague more will I bring upon Pharaoh and Egypt; and after that he shall let you go, and thrust you out…

THE FIRST CELEBRATION OF THE PASSOVER

‘At midnight I will enter into Egypt. And every first-born in the land of the Egyptians shall die, from the first-born of Pharaoh, who sitteth on his throne, even to the first-born of the handmaid, that is at the mill, and all the first-born of beasts’ (Exodus 11:4-5).

THE SAVING BLOOD OF THE LAMB [CHRIST WILL BE THE LAMB FOR ALL MANKIND]

That the children of the Israelites might be spared from this plague, Moses, under the command of God, instituted the first celebration of the feast of the Pasch or Passover. The Israelites were to take lambs, sacrifice them, and spread the blood of the lambs on the two doorposts and the lintel of their houses. The lambs were then to be eaten with unleavened bread.

At midnight the hand of God struck the land of Egypt and the first-born of every Egyptian home died and the first-born of their cattle. This great punishment inflicted by God on the people of Egypt moved Pharaoh to relent and let the Israelites depart from his land. He sent for Moses and Aaron in the night and said, ‘Arise and go forth from among my people, you and the children of Israel’ (Exodus 12:31).

THE ISRAELITES CROSS THE RED SEA WITH MOSES

THE PARTING OF THE RED SEA

Under divine guidance Moses led his people out of Egypt into the desert and to the Red Sea. Pharaoh repented of his decision to let them go and sent his troops to bring them back to Egypt. When the Israelites perceived the Egyptians pursuing them they lost heart and reproached Moses for leading them to destruction in the wilderness.

But Moses assured them that God would save them.

During the night God sent a strong and burning wind which drove the waters of the Red Sea off a fording place. In the morning the Israelites crossed over the clear portion of the lake. When the Egyptians followed, the wind ceased and the waters returned to their usual place. The Egyptians perished in the returning flood. ‘And the people feared the Lord and Moses, his servant’ (Exodus 14:31).”
– Martin J. Healy S.T.D., 1959

 

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TODAY’S RESPONSORIAL PSALM (PSALM 98)

R. The Lord our God is holy.

1. Exalt the Lord our God;
bow down before Zion, his footstool.
He the Lord is holy. (R.)

2. Among his priests were Aaron and Moses,
among those who invoked his name was Samuel.
They invoked the Lord and he answered. (R.)

3. To them he spoke in the pillar of cloud.
They did his will; they kept the law,
which he, the Lord, had given. (R.)

4. O Lord our God, you answered them.
For them you were a God who forgives;
yet you punished all their offences. (R.)

5. Exalt the Lord our God;
bow down before his holy mountain
for the Lord our God is holy. (R.)

ALLELUIA

Alleluia, alleluia!
Make me grasp the way of your precepts,
and I will muse on your wonders.
Alleluia!

 

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