Day 27: The Birth of Moses

Exodus 1:1-14 The generous welcome given to Jacob and his family faded under the later pharaohs of Egypt who watched the growth of the Israelite population with alarm. The Egyptians instituted slave labor as a way of controlling and exploiting the Israelites. (CCC 2237, 2432, 2434, 2448, 2454-2455)

Ch 1:15-22 The order to kill male newborns is a type (TYPOLOGY!!) of, or prefigures, the slaying of the Holy Innocents ordered by Herod following the Birth of Christ (cf. Mt 2:16). Ironically, on the latter occasion, Mary and Joseph fled with Jesus into Egypt for safety. (CCC 530, 2270-2271)

Ch 2:1-3 Basket: The Sacred Author used the same Hegrew word, tevah, for Noah’s “Ark”. As God saved Noah from the waters of the Flood by means of the Ark, so did he preserve Moses from the waters of the Nile by means of a basket (CCC 845)

Ch 2:11-25 Moses was moved by the plight of the Hebrews and sought justice long before he was called by God. The Hebrews, who knew him only as an Egyptian prince, did not trust him. (CCC 2575).

Leviticus 1:1 This book, whose name derives from the priestly tribe of Levi, is almost entirely a book of laws and rituals governing the worship prescribed to the Israelites by God. Its five main sections include the rituals of SACRIFICE (Ch 1-7), the rite of ORDINATION OF PRIESTS (Ch 8-10), laws of PURITY (Ch 11-16), directives for HOLINESS (Ch 17-26), and the redemption of OFFERINGS (Ch 27). (CCC 613, 1334, 1541, 2099-2100)

Ch 1:2-17 Burnt offering, or “holocaust,” is derived from the Greek holos and kaustos, which mean “whole” and “burned”; it required complete destruction of the victim as a symbol of God’s dominion over creation since God can both CREATE and ANNIHILATE. Generally, it was used to offer thanksgiving to God. The animal offering had to be UNBLEMISHED because the faithful had to offer THEIR VERY BEST to God. Such offerings date to the earliest days of existence: jealousy over the offerings of Abel led Cain to kill his brother (cf. Gn 4:3-8), and, testing Abraham, God had the patriarch prepare a holocaust that would offer his son Isaac as the victim (cf. Gn 22:1-14). (CCC 2569, 2572)

Psalm 44 The words of this psalm accuse God of abandoning his people and his covenant with them. This psalm claims that, in spite of Israel’s fidelity, they were punished as if they had been unfaithful. These words of righteous indignation do not imply powerful and consistent resentment so much as an emotional plea for divine assistance: the people were very much aware of God’s steadfast love given the history of his intervention in the affairs of Israel. This, they simply wanted him to intervene now as he had done before. Why do you hide your face?: To see God’s face is to sense his presence and his solicitous love. These sentiments give assurances of his special predilection for the people of Israel. (CCC 272)

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

Key Event 15: Israel Enslaved in Egypt (Exodus 1:8-22)

After four centuries, a new Pharaoh comes to power, who decides to reverse course with the descendants of Jacob. Instead of Egyptian hospitality, he institutes oppression, slavery, and ultimately genocide for the Israelites.

Prayer for Mothers by Father Mike: “We pray for all moms who are pregnant, as well as for all moms who have been having a difficult time with pregnancy and not been able to get pregnant. We pray for all couples who have been unable to conceive. We hear the Word of God and we know the blessing of children from God. You were with your people even when they were enslaved and you gave them the blessing of family. You gave them the blessing of life. I ask you, Lord God, in the name of your son Jesus Christ, to all those couples who are listening to this and praying with us in the course of this Bible in a Year Podcast. Those couples that are longing to get pregnant. Those couples that are longing for a healthy pregnancy. We just ask, Lord, in the name of your son Jesus Christ to bless these couples. In your name, Jesus, we ask you to send your Holy Spirit to bless these couples, to be with them in their desire for children, to be with them in their waiting, to be with them God-willing in their conceiving and bringing into this world a new life. We also, Father, in the name of your son Jesus, ask for your blessings upon all those who have had the heartbreak of losing children, who have had the heartbreak of miscarrying, who have had the heartbreak who have had children who were stillborn. Lord God, we ask you to ease the heartache of those couples who are listening to this and praying with us who have lost their own children. Please be with them now. Console their hearts. They are our family. They are our friends. They are known to you, God, because you continue to give blessings even when things are dark. Even when things are confusing. Even when we do not know where you are. You may be hidden, but you are not absent. Lord God, you may be unseen, but you are not inactive. So Lord God right now in this moment, in the name of your son Jesus Christ, console the hearts of those couples. Console the hearts of those families. They either long for children or they have lost children. For this, Lord God, we pray. Amen”


Check out the similarities between the infancy narratives of both Moses and Jesus, as well as the setup between Israel's alliance with Egypt's and Israel's future alliance with Rome, both of which turned out poorly.

Reading through Leviticus can be dry and difficult. I suggest reading it though the lens of the Liturgy, Sacraments, and Priesthood:

"How is what God is prescribing foreshadowing the Liturgy of Christ, his Sacrifice at the Last Supper and the Cross, and the Mass?"

Each prescribed sacrafice bears some element of it that we will see converge into the one perfect Sacrifice of Christ that started with the Last Supper and ended on the Cross, starting with the Burnt Offering.