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Thoughts and Reflection

In the Old Testament, Moses intercedes for us before God. Later this is intercession is done by Jesus in the New Testament. We see that the people of Israel are not unique from the other people or nations. Rather they are the Chosen People because God entered into a covenant with them. Moses makes clear that if God doesn’t continue to be with them and continue to make them distinct, they will be extinct.

The Ten Commandments show us how we should live differently. We are often tempted to live like everyone else or what peer pressure or society tells us to do. We should rather live the way God wants us to live by following the Ten Commandments and the Covenants he made with us.

God dwells with us in the Holy Spirit. Every baptized person has received the Holy Spirit and every Christian is made distinct by the presence of God and the Holy Spirit among them.

We should ask ourselves if we are being true to ourselves and God by living Distinctly. Are you?

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!

Daily Readings

Exodus 33

1 Yahweh then said to Moses, ‘Leave, move on from here, you and the people whom you have brought here from Egypt, to the country that I swore to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that I would give to their descendants.

2 I shall send an angel in front of you and drive out the Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites.

3 Move on towards a country flowing with milk and honey, but I myself shall not be going with you or I might annihilate you on the way, for you are an obstinate people.’

4 On hearing these stern words the people went into mourning and no one wore his ornaments.

5 Yahweh then said to Moses, ‘Say to the Israelites, “You are an obstinate people. If I were to go with you even for a moment, I should annihilate you. So now take off your ornaments, and then I shall decide how to deal with you!” ‘

6 So, from Mount Horeb onwards, the Israelites stripped themselves of their ornaments.

7 Moses used to take the Tent and pitch it outside the camp, far away from the camp. He called it the Tent of Meeting. Anyone who wanted to consult Yahweh would go out to the Tent of Meeting, outside the camp.

8 Whenever Moses went out to the Tent, the people would all stand up and every man would stand at the door of his tent and watch Moses until he went into the Tent.

9 And whenever Moses went into the Tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and station itself at the entrance to the Tent, while Yahweh spoke with Moses.

10 The people could all see the pillar of cloud stationed at the entrance to the Tent and the people would all stand up and bow low, each at the door of his tent.

11 Yahweh would talk to Moses face to face, as a man talks to his friend, and afterwards he would come back to the camp, but the young man who was his servant, Joshua son of Nun, never left the inside of the Tent.

12 Moses said to Yahweh, ‘Look, you say to me, “Make the people move on,” but you have not told me whom you are going to send with me, although you have said, “I know you by name and you enjoy my favour.”

13 If indeed I enjoy your favour, please show me your ways, so that I understand you and continue to enjoy your favour; consider too that this nation is your people.’

14 Yahweh then said, ‘I myself shall go with you and I shall give you rest.’

15 To which he said, ‘If you do not come yourself, do not make us move on from here,

16 for how can it be known that I and my people enjoy your favour, if not by your coming with us? By this we shall be marked out, I and your people, from all the peoples on the face of the earth.’

17 Yahweh then said to Moses, ‘Again I shall do what you have asked, because you enjoy my favour and because I know you by name.’

18 He then said, ‘Please show me your glory.’

19 Yahweh said, ‘I shall make all my goodness pass before you, and before you I shall pronounce the name Yahweh; and I am gracious to those to whom I am gracious and I take pity on those on whom I take pity.

20 But my face’, he said, ‘you cannot see, for no human being can see me and survive.’

21 Then Yahweh said, ‘Here is a place near me. You will stand on the rock,

22 and when my glory passes by, I shall put you in a cleft of the rock and shield you with my hand until I have gone past.

23 Then I shall take my hand away and you will see my back; but my face will not be seen.’

Exodus 34

1 Yahweh said to Moses, ‘Cut two tablets of stone like the first ones and come up to me on the mountain, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke.

2 Be ready at dawn; at dawn come up Mount Sinai and wait for me there at the top of the mountain.

3 No one may come up with you, no one may be seen anywhere on the mountain; the flocks and herds may not even graze in front of this mountain.’

4 So he cut two tablets of stone like the first and, with the two tablets of stone in his hands, Moses went up Mount Sinai in the early morning as Yahweh had ordered.

5 And Yahweh descended in a cloud and stood with him there and pronounced the name Yahweh.

6 Then Yahweh passed before him and called out, ‘Yahweh, Yahweh, God of tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in faithful love and constancy,

7 maintaining his faithful love to thousands, forgiving fault, crime and sin, yet letting nothing go unchecked, and punishing the parent’s fault in the children and in the grandchildren to the third and fourth generation!’

8 Moses immediately bowed to the ground in worship,

9 then he said, ‘If indeed I do enjoy your favour, please, my Lord, come with us, although they are an obstinate people; and forgive our faults and sins, and adopt us as your heritage.’

10 He then said, ‘Look, I am now making a covenant: I shall work such wonders at the head of your whole people as have never been worked in any other country or nation, and all the people round you will see what Yahweh can do, for what I shall do through you will be awe-inspiring.

11 Mark, then, what I command you today. I am going to drive out the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites before you.

12 Take care you make no pact with the inhabitants of the country which you are about to enter, or they will prove a snare in your community.

13 You will tear down their altars, smash their cultic stones and cut down their sacred poles,

14 for you will worship no other god, since Yahweh’s name is the Jealous One; he is a jealous God.

15 Make no pact with the inhabitants of the country or, when they prostitute themselves to their own gods and sacrifice to them, they willinvite you and you will partake of their sacrifice,

16 and then you will choose wives for your sons from among their daughters, and their daughters, prostituting themselves to their own gods, will induce your sons to prostitute themselves to their gods.

17 ‘You will not cast metal gods for yourself.

18 ‘You will observe the feast of Unleavened Bread. For seven days you will eat unleavened bread, as I have commanded you, at the appointed time in the month of Abib, for in the month of Abib you came out of Egypt.

19 ‘All that first issues from the womb belongs to me: every male, every first-born of flock or herd.

20 But the first-born donkey you will redeem with an animal from the flock; if you do not redeem it, you must break its neck. All the first-born of your sons you will redeem, and no one will appear before me empty-handed.

21 ‘For six days you will labour, but on the seventh day you will rest; you will stop work even during ploughing and harvesting.

22 ‘You will observe the feast of Weeks, of the first-fruits of the wheat harvest, and the feast of Ingathering at the close of the year.

23 ‘Three times a year all your menfolk will appear before Lord Yahweh, God of Israel,

24 for I shall dispossess the nations before you and extend your frontiers, and no one will set his heart on your territory when you go away to appear before Yahweh your God three times a year.

25 ‘You will not offer the blood of my sacrificial victim with leavened bread, nor is the victim offered at the feast of Passover to be left until the following day.

26 ‘You will bring the best of the first-fruits of your soil to the house of Yahweh your God. ‘You will not boil a kid in its mother’s milk.’

27 Yahweh then said to Moses, ‘Put these words in writing, for they are the terms of the covenant which I have made with you and with Israel.’

28 He stayed there with Yahweh for forty days and forty nights, eating and drinking nothing, and on the tablets he wrote the words of the covenant — the Ten Words.

29 When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, as he was coming down the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face was radiant because he had been talking to him.

30 And when Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, the skin on his face was so radiant that they were afraid to go near him.

31 But Moses called to them, and Aaron and all the leaders of the community rejoined him, and Moses talked to them,

32 after which all the Israelites came closer, and he passed on to them all the orders that Yahweh had given to him on Mount Sinai.

33 Once Moses had finished speaking to them, he put a veil over his face.

34 Whenever Moses went into Yahweh’s presence to speak with him, he took the veil off until he came out. And when he came out, he would tell the Israelites what orders he had been given,

35 and the Israelites would see Moses’ face radiant. Then Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak to him next time.

Leviticus 24

1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said:

2 ‘Order the Israelites to bring you crushed-olive oil for the lamp-stand, and keep a flame burning there continually.

3 Aaron will keep it permanently in trim from evening to morning, outside the curtain of the Testimony in the Tent of Meeting, before Yahweh. This is a perpetual decree for your descendants:

4 Aaron will keep the lamps permanently trimmed on the pure lamp-stand before Yahweh.

5 ‘You will take wheaten flour and with it bake twelve loaves, each of two-tenths of an ephah.

6 You will then place them in two rows of six on the pure table before Yahweh

7 and put pure incense on each row, to make it food offered as a memorial, food burnt for Yahweh.

8 Every Sabbath they will be arranged before Yahweh. The Israelites will provide them as a permanent covenant.

9 They will belong to Aaron and his sons, who will eat them inside the holy place since, for him, they are an especially holy part of the food burnt for Yahweh. This is a permanent law.’

10 There was a man whose mother was an Israelite woman and whose father was an Egyptian. He came out of his house and, in the camp, surrounded by the Israelites, he began to quarrel with a man who was an Israelite.

11 Now the son of the Israelite woman blasphemed the Name and cursed it. He was then taken to Moses (his mother’s name was Shelomith daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan).

12 He was then put under guard until Yahweh’s will should be made clear to them.

13 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said:

14 ‘Take the man who pronounced the curse outside the camp. All those who heard him must then lay their hands on his head, and the whole community must then stone him.

15 Then say to the Israelites: “Anyone who curses his God will bear the consequences of his sin,

16 and anyone who blasphemes the name of Yahweh will be put to death; the whole community will stone him; be he alien or native-born, if he blasphemes the Name, he will be put to death.

17 “Anyone who strikes down any other human being will be put to death.

18 “Anyone who strikes down an animal will make restitution for it: a life for a life.

19 “Anyone who injures a neighbour shall receive the same in return,

20 broken limb for broken limb, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. As the injury inflicted, so will be the injury suffered.

21 Whoever strikes down an animal will make restitution for it, and whoever strikes down a human being will be put to death.

22 The sentence you pass will be the same, whether on native-born or on alien; for I am Yahweh your God.” ‘

23 Moses having told the Israelites this, they took the man who had pronounced the curse out of the camp and stoned him. And so the Israelites carried out Yahweh’s order to Moses.

Psalm 80

1 [For the choirmaster Tune: ‘The decrees are lilies’ Of Asaph Psalm] Shepherd of Israel, listen, you who lead Joseph like a flock, enthroned on the winged creatures, shine forth

2 over Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh; rouse your valour and come to our help.

3 God, bring us back, let your face shine on us and we shall be safe.

4 Yahweh, God Sabaoth, how long will you flare up at your people’s prayer?

5 You have made tears their food, redoubled tears their drink.

6 You let our neighbours quarrel over us, our enemies mock us.

7 God Sabaoth, bring us back, let your face shine on us and we shall be safe.

8 You brought a vine out of Egypt, to plant it you drove out nations;

9 you cleared a space for it, it took root and filled the whole country.

10 The mountains were covered with its shade, and the cedars of God with its branches,

11 its boughs stretched as far as the sea, its shoots as far as the River.

12 Why have you broken down its fences? Every passer-by plucks its grapes,

13 boars from the forest tear at it, wild beasts feed on it.

14 God Sabaoth, come back, we pray, look down from heaven and see, visit this vine;

15 protect what your own hand has planted.

16 They have thrown it on the fire like dung, the frown of your rebuke will destroy them.

17 May your hand protect those at your side, the child of Adam you have strengthened for yourself!

18 Never again will we turn away from you, give us life and we will call upon your name.

19 God Sabaoth, bring us back, let your face shine on us and we shall be safe.

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