Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho, and the Lord showed him the whole land: Gilead as far as Dan, all Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea, the Negeb, and the Plain—that is, the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees—as far as Zoar. The Lord said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants’; I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there.”
Then Moses, the servant of the Lord, died there in the land of Moab, at the Lord’s command. He was buried in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor, but no one knows his burial place to this day. Moses was one hundred twenty years old when he died; his sight was unimpaired and his vigor had not abated. The Israelites wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days; then the period of mourning for Moses was ended.
Joshua son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, because Moses had laid his hands on him; and the Israelites obeyed him, doing as the Lord had commanded Moses. Never since has there arisen a prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face. He was unequaled for all the signs and wonders that the Lord sent him to perform in the land of Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his servants and his entire land, and for all the mighty deeds and all the terrifying displays of power that Moses performed in the sight of all Israel.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
For the past four weeks we have been travelling with Moses in the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and now Deuteronomy. We first met Moses as an infant who should have been killed by the order of Pharaoh, but was instead saved by Pharaoh’s daughter. Today we are told about his death at the ripe old age of 120 after being shown the Promised Land by the Lord, yet not being allowed to cross over to it.
It has always seemed unfair to me that Moses was not allowed to enter the Promised Land after all he did leading the people of Israel in the desert. However, as I have listened to the first readings of the last four weeks, I have been repeatedly impressed with Moses’ accomplishments and most especially with the relationship he develops with Yahweh. Or rather, we should say the relationship Yahweh develops with Moses. This relationship is not without its ups and downs.
Moses actually tries to get Yahweh to choose another person to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, but Yahweh insists he is the person to do it. At every turn, when Moses faces difficulty, whether it was with Pharaoh or with the constantly complaining Israelites, Yahweh is there with him, giving him the power to part the waters of the Red Sea or to produce life giving water from a rock at Meribah.
In the Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius encourages us to remember the times of consolation the Lord gives us. He advises us to draw upon these memories in times of desolation. Our memory serves to remind us of the Lord’s constant presence in our lives. We are reminded that God always loves us more deeply than we can ever understand or imagine. I like to think this is especially true when we are disappointed because life does not seem to be treating us fairly.
—David McNulty is the Provincial Assistant for Advancement, Chicago-Detroit Province Jesuits
One night I had a dream–
I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord
and across the sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene I noticed two sets of footprints,
one belonged to me and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that many times along the path of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest
and saddest times in my life.
This really bothered me and I questioned the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you,
you would walk with me all the way,
but I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life
there is only one set of footprints.
“I don’t understand why in times when I needed you most,
you should leave me.”
The Lord replied, “My precious, precious child,
I love you and I would never, never leave you
during your times of trial and suffering.
“When you saw only one set of footprints,
it was then that I carried you.”
—Mary StevensonPlease share the Good Word with your friends!