Day 17: Jacob Meets Esau

Genesis 33:1-20 When Esau arrived, Jacob appeased him with one final gesture-seven profound bows, an honor reserved for a king. His efforts worked, and Esau greeted him with great joy and grace. Bowing deeply is a sign of deference and respect, and the act of bowing holds a prominent place in the liturgy and is encouraged as an act of reverence before receiving the Eucharist; it is the usual sign of adoration of the Real Presence of Christ in the tabernacle. (CCC 1378)

Ch 34:1-31 Angered over their sister’s rape by the very man who now asked for her hand in marriage, Jacob’s sons tricked the men of Shechem into getting circumcised and then proceeded to slaughter them while they were immobilized from the pain of the operation. (CCC 2356)

Job 23:1-17 Job desired to plead his case before God face to face even though he expressed doubt that God would be swayed by his words. On Mt. Sinai, at some level, Moses beheld the face of God and lived; the blessed in heaven are PRIVILEGED to see God face to face in the BEATIFIC VISION. (CCC 163, 1028, 1045, 2576)

Ch 24:1-25 Sinful people in many instances become oblivious to any accountability to God or their actions. This failure to take responsibility constitutes a sin against hope called PRESUMPTION, which along with DESPAIR are among the sins against the theological virtue of HOPE. (CCC 2088-2903)

Proverbs 3:13-20 We can see wisdom in the works of creation and, thereby, behold a glimmer of God’s beauty, goodness, and power. Discernment of God’s will depends on the personal desire to give him glory AT ALL TIMES. (CCC 299)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

Prayer by Fr. Mike: "Father in Heaven, we thank you for this day. We thank you for your Word. We thank you for revealing your heart to us. We thank you also, that you have revealed to us that not only are you present when things are good, you are present when things are dark, that even as our friend Job complains and complains rightly in the midst of his suffering. You hear his complaint. You will answer, Lord, even though so often you are quiet. You will answer us. And today you answer us by giving us your Word, proclaiming to us through this incredible technology and so we thank you and we praise your name. We praise your name that is revealed to us through the words of your Bible, through the words of your Church. We thank you this day and every day. Please receive our thanks in Jesus’ name. Amen." 


It's nice to finally get a happy ending to a story after so much brokenness. We can see the Sacrament of Reconciliation illustrated through Jacob and Esau (except that both sinned, whereas God is who we reconcile with, as he does not betray our Covenant, only we do).

I noticed that of all the brothers that took vengeance for their sister, it was Simeon and Levi, done with the sword. It reminded me of how the Levites were the ones Moses called on to avenge the idolatry of the golden calf, done with the sword; they were then ordained and chosen to be the ministerial priesthood. It also reminded me of Simon-Peter who tried to stop Jesus from being arrested, using a sword. His link to Levi and the Levites is also found in being given the keys to the kingdom, which Dr. Brant Pitre highlights as having priestly connotations.

You can learn more about it in his talk "The Jewish Roots of the Papacy" at this YouTube link. I highly recommend it!