Today’s first reading (from Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9) features Moses trying to convince his people to follow the commandments of God.
Moses is in the role of the teacher and leader. He believes in the way that God has instructed them to live.
He begins by saying: “Now, Israel, hear the statutes and decrees which I am teaching you to observe, that you may live, and may enter in and take possession of the land which the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving you.”
Until recently, that passage had a different context and meaning for many of us. But given the recent concerns for health and life, Moses’ words take on a deeper meaning for us.
In addition to our physical health, which God cares for, Moses’ words also convey how we are to be a witness to others in following God’s commandments; as he says: “Observe them carefully, for thus will you give evidence of your wisdom and intelligence to the nations,”
And, they will say: “For what great nation is there that has gods so close to it as the Lord, our God, is to us whenever we call upon Him?”
“Or what great nations has statutes and decrees that are as just as this whole law which I am setting before you today?”
My brothers and sisters, Jesus teaches us how to understand the continuity between the time of Moses and our time. He makes clear that He, “…has come not to abolish but to fulfill (the law and the prophets).”
Jesus builds upon God's direction to our ancestors. Jesus came to save us from every crisis, both man-made and natural. He knows our need for Him, our frailties, including how we can drift away from living as we should, and so in compassion, comes to both redeem us and show us the way to live.
Moses’ final words from today’s first reading are something we can reflect and act on, where he says: “However, take care and be earnestly on your guard not to forget the things which your own eyes have seen, nor let them slip from your memory as long as you live, but teach them to your children and to your children’s children.”
My brothers and sisters, in times like this, we need our faith to be strengthen by the Word of God and shared through our prayers and actions … so that we might live both here on earth and one day please God in Heaven!
May God bless you and your families on this holy day!
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About Father David Marcham
Reverend David S. Marcham is the Vice Postulator for the Cause of Venerable Patrick Peyton, and Director of the Father Peyton Guild, whose members pray for Father Peyton’s beatification and spread his message of the importance of Family Prayer. Prior to becoming a seminarian, Father David was a physical therapist and clinical instructor, serving hospital inpatients and outpatients throughout the greater Boston area for eleven years. In 1998 he heard the call to priesthood and was ordained in the Archdiocese of Boston in 2005. Father David grew up in Quincy, MA, and has fond memories of playing soccer, tennis and running track. You’re never without a friend when Father David is around, as he welcomes everyone into his circle with a smile on his face!