Day 35: Crossing the Red Sea
Exodus 13:1-22 Just as Passover was celebrated as a memorial of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, the Mass is celebrated as a memorial of the NEW PASSOVER, our liberation from slavery to SIN AND DEATH. The Eucharistic Sacrifice, however, is not merely a recollection of Christ’s Passion and Death but a TRUE RE-PRESENTATION of Christ’s redemptive Sacrifice on the Cross offered in a BLOODLESS AND SACRAMENTAL MANNER. (CCC 1334, 1363)
Exodus 13:13 Every first-born...you shall redeem: The presentation of Christ in the Temple was in accordance with this ancient command. This event is celebrated in the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord on February 2, forty days after the Nativity. (CCC 529)
Ch 13:22 God made himself known in many different ways: by means of the burning bush that was not consumed, the pillar of fire, and the cloud. These THEOPHANIES-manifestations of God-reassured the Israelites that God was with them and dwelt among them. (CCC 35, 2084-2085)
Ch 14:4 I will harden Pharaoh’s heart: The sense of this statement is not that God made Pharaoh STUBBORN but he ALLOWED Pharaoh, by his own free will, to become OBSTINATE and ENTRENCHED IN SIN. Anyone who refuses to accept God’s merciful love through repentance becomes more deeply enslaved to sin. (CCC 1864)
Ch 14:15-31 The account of the crossing of the Red Sea and the defeat of the Egyptian army is read at the Mass of the Easter Vigil. It is a definitive moment in salvation history that has been remembered and celebrated every year since the first Passover. This feast marks the beginning of the Jewish calendar year to stress this most important episode in the history of Israel as the Chosen People. The crossing of the Red Sea is a type (TYPOLOGY!!) of our salvation through the waters of BAPTISM. (CCC 117, 128-129, 1094, 1217-1222)
Leviticus 10:4-11 After the death of two of Aaron’s sons due to unspecified transgressions, Moses imposed stricter discipline upon the priests. The prohibition of drinking alcohol suggests that the sin of Aaron’s sons may have been connected with drunkenness. Excessive consumption of alcohol, drugs, or even ordinary food is a sin against the VIRTUE OF TEMPERANCE. (CCC 1809, 1838, 2290)
Psalm 53 Bearing a strong resemblance to Psalm 14, this psalm labels the atheist as a corrupt fool. It follows that disbelief in God results in ignorance and rejection of the reality of objective truth, which rests on the existence of a divine lawgiver.
(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)
Key Event 19: Crossing of the Red Sea (Exodus 13:17-15:21)
When the Israelites flee Egypt, they find themselves trapped between the Red Sea and the Egyptian army. God MIRACULOUSLY parts the sea, enabling the Israelites to pass through on dry land. When the Egyptians give chase, the water returns and destroys their army. Like the flood, this event prefigures BAPTISM (REMEMBER TYPOLOGY) in the New Testament (see 1 Cor 10:2)
The firstborn sons of Egypt are killed in the night.
In his grief over the death of his firstborn son, Pharaoh commands Moses and Israel to leave Egypt.
Israel flees in the night before the Egyptians see the blood-stained door posts.
The Egyptians, fearing further death, enrich the Israelites to hurry their departure.
But with the light of day, Pharaoh’s grief turns to rage.
He musters his army and soon catches the Israelites, pinning them against the shores of the Red Sea.
God, in a last mighty sign against Egypt, parts the waters, allowing the Israelites to cross on dry land, all the while protecting them from the Egyptian army by a pillar of cloud.
The Egyptians rush into the sea to catch them, but the Lord sends the water crashing down upon them.
The entire army of Egypt, the great world power at the time, is decimated
It is clear that Yahweh, the God of Israel, is the most powerful God.
Leading the people through the Red Sea, Moses fulfills the prophetic meaning of his name, “HE WHO DRAWS THROUGH WATER.”
(*Walking With God: A Journey Through the Bible by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins)
When it comes to Leviticus, a lot of us think it is dry
It’s repetitive, sure
But it is not dry
This is the Lord revealing his HOLINESS
All of the commandments and rules in Leviticus are ALL ABOUT THE LORD AND HIS HOLINESS and what TRUE HOLINESS is
They are about how “OTHER” God is
That’s what it is to be holy, it means “to be set apart”
Being holy is being BLESSED
Being holy is being CONSECRATED
Here is God who HIMSELF is the author of holiness
The sons of Aaron come into the Lord’s presence and did whatever they wanted to do, what is not right, and what God did not ask them to do
They offer an unholy fire to God and His Holy Fire consumes them and they die
What does that mean? Does it seem drastic? Does it seem extreme?
Not at all!
In the New Covenant, God has become SO CLOSE AND NEAR TO US in Jesus
We are Temples of the Holy Spirit, that’s how close God is to us
He revealed Himself in humility and poverty when He was born in a cave in Bethlehem
God willed to become a single embryo at one point and then grew in His mother’s womb
He was born in POVERTY
He was born IN A CAVE
He lay in a MANGER
He allowed us to MOCK HIM AND TAUNT HIM
He allowed us to TORTURE HIM
He allowed us to REJECT HIM
He allowed us to DENY HIM
He allowed us to KILL HIM
God reveals to us in Leviticus to approach Him in the way He tells us to because HE IS HOLY
Our goal in this life is to be Holy like God is Holy
What does it mean to be Holy?
It means to be the BEST version of yourself
What if we do that when we go to Mass?
Have you gone to Mass with a bad attitude? Or maybe a “whatever” attitude?
Have you gone to mass and get discouraged that you “didn’t get something out of it”?
The moment the Mass becomes about what YOU get out of it instead of being about WORSHIPPING GOD, guess what?
IT CEASES TO BE ABOUT WORSHIP AND IT IS NOW IDOLATRY (*Fr Mike’s Homily from June 14, 2020 “No Longer Optional” https://bulldogcatholic.org/2020/06/14/06-14-20-no-longer-optional/ )
IDOLATRY IS NOT HOLY…...AT ALL
“Lord, it is true that you are Holy”
Fear of the Lord does not mean we are afraid of God
Fear of the Lord means WE ARE TAKING GOD SERIOUSLY
What would our prayer life look like if we TOOK GOD SERIOUSLY
Not being afraid, but simply realizing here is GOD WHO IS HOLY
How would being present at Mass feel if we are taking God seriously?
Here I dare to enter into His presence
God loves us so much and wants us to enter His presence and worship Him
How does God want us to worship Him? Hmmmmmmm?
In Exodus, here is God’s DRAMATIC SALVATION OF ISRAEL IN THE RED SEA
THE LORD WILL FIGHT FOR YOU, YOU HAVE ONLY TO BE STILL!!!
There are times when we are called to FIGHT
There are times when we are called to RUN AWAY
And there are some times where GOD FIGHTS FOR US AND WE JUST HOLD STILL AND PERSEVERE
That’s one of the reasons we keep praying for each other
Each one of us has a battle
This is a reminder to stand still because The Lord is fighting for you RIGHT NOW
Prayer by Fr Mike: "Father in Heaven we thank you for Your Word, we thank you for Your Commandments, we thank you for fighting for your people. One again, you reveal to us in Exodus that you are willing. You not only see us, you not only know us, you not only know our plight, but you hear our pleas and you know our plight. You answer our prayers and you answer by fighting for us. We praise you for that. We thank you for that. Every single day you fight for us, Lord God. You continue to give us your Grace. You continue to make us whole again. You continue to call us closer and closer to your heart. Help us to always say ‘YES’ to you. We ask this prayer through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, through the intercession of all the saints. We make this prayer in the mighty name of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen."
The Consecration of First-Born Sons and the Consecration of Christ. I have heard an interesting statistic (can't find the source to verify at this time) that the majority of Catholic Priests tend to be the first-born son of their parents.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church highlights the crossing of the Red Sea as the foremost prefigurement to Baptism in the Old Testament. Where Egypt is slavery to sin, passing through the sea is baptism that washes away the armies of sin that seeking to keep us chained. On the other side of the waters we have new life and a journey ahead of us to the Heavenly Promised Land.