Memorial of Saint Dominic, Priest

Lectionary: 408

Should there be a prophet among you,
in visions will I reveal myself to him,
in dreams will I speak to him;
not so with my servant Moses!
Throughout my house he bears my trust:
face to face I speak to him;
plainly and not in riddles.
The presence of the LORD he beholds.

Three figures in the Old Testament stand head and shoulders over everyone else: Abraham, Moses and David; the patriarch, the prophet and the king. Perhaps that puts into perspective today's story, the harassment Moses suffered from his right hand Aaron and his sister Miriam. The LORD will not put up with it!

When Moses and Elijah appeared to Jesus' disciples on Mount Tabor, as Jesus was transfigured, and then disappeared into the cloud, there could be no doubt about Jesus' superiority even to Moses, Elijah and every other Old Testament person. Especially as they heard the thunderous declaration, "This is my beloved son; listen to him!" they could only fall to their faces in stunned worship.

Because Moses is a prototype of Jesus, we can hear God's declaration in today's passage from Numbers as a statement about Jesus: "Throughout my house he bears my trust: face to face I speak to him...."

Christians believe Jesus has come forth from the Father as a word is spoken; he is "begotten not made." The Son of God is not a creature of God but God's own son who bears the complete trust of his Father:
“Amen, amen, I say to you, a son cannot do anything on his own, but only what he sees his father doing; for what he does, his son will do also. For the Father loves his Son and shows him everything that he himself does, and he will show him greater works than these, so that you may be amazed.
Between the Father and the Son there is complete agreement; there is only one will. Face to face they speak to one another, plainly and not in riddles. When the Father begets the Son he holds nothing back; they are equals in their infinite majesty. The disciples in today's gospel recognize that majesty in their unworthy fishing boat as they, "did him homage, saying, 'Truly, you are the Son of God.'"

We understand the greater works so that you may be amazed as the Holy Spirit. The Christian is continually astonished at the good works God effects through her hands, and often by her own courage, wisdom and generosity. "Now, where did that come from?" she may ask herself. The answer is delightfully obvious; it is God's work.

Just as Moses interceded with God to heal his sister Miriam when her flesh became leprous, so does Jesus intercede for us and we intercede for others. The mercy of God's Holy Spirit cannot be contained, not even by our unworthy efforts.

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I love to write. This blog helps me to meditate on the Word of God, and I hope to make some contribution to our contemplations of God's Mighty Works.

Ordinarily, I write these reflections two or three weeks in advance of their publication. I do not intend to comment on current events.

I understand many people prefer gender-neutral references to "God." I don't disagree with them but find that language impersonal, unappealing and tasteless. When I refer to "God" I think of the One whom Jesus called "Abba" and "Father", and I would not attempt to improve on Jesus' language.

You're welcome to add a thought or raise a question.