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 Lordhad 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.
The death of Moses led to the choice of Joshua as his immediate successor. In truth, Jesus is the new Moses. The signs and wonders performed by Moses are all fulfilled in the Word of God, the Christ. It’s important to remember that the Church Jesus promised to build was not only the universal (“catholic”) sacrament of salvation for all peoples, but also the fulfillment of the Mosaic law. None of God’s commands were abandoned, but Jesus reaffirmed the Ten Commandments with the two great commands to love God and love your neighbor as yourself.
We too fulfill God’s call to spread the Good News. The same power that drew the people of Israel to follow Moses now draws us to follow Jesus. Perhaps as we review these movements of salvation history, we too express our gratitude for the might and terrifying power of the Word of God given in Christ.
—Kathy England is a Pastoral Associate at St. Francis Xavier Church in Cincinnati, OH.
Stay with us, Lord Jesus.
Be our companion on our way.
In your mercy inflame our hearts and raise our hope,
so that, in union with our brothers and sisters,
we may recognize you in the scriptures,
and in our daily living.
—Kathy EnglandPlease share the Good Word with your friends!