Day 48: God's Presence

Exodus 33:12-19 Moses used his special relationship to intercede for the Israelites one again. God would remain with Israel and lead their way. God reveals himself through his benevolence and mercy prompting his people to glorify his sacred name. (CCC 210, 696-697, 2666)

Ch 34:5-28 God amended the covenant with Israel and assigned a “ritual Decalogue” that in some ways resembled the Ten Commandments but focused more on norms of worship. Merciful and gracious...and faithfulness: In everything that God does, he reveals his benevolence, grace, and love as well as his faithfulness and wisdom. His very being is truth and love. Even his name, “I AM WHO I AM,” expresses constancy and trustworthiness as one who will always be present for his faithful. The prayer of Moses urged God not to forsake his people. (CCC 210-211, 214, 231, 2056, 2577)

Leviticus 24:5-9 The offertory bread is referenced in the Gospels when Christ, facing charges that his disciples did not keep the Sabbath because they were picking corn to eat, reminded the Pharisees of the time David and his hungry soldiers were given the sacred bread normally reserved for the priests alone to consume (cf. Mt 12:4, 1 Sm 21:1-7). (CCC 2581)

Ch 24:10-23 Blasphemy against God, a grave sin against the Second Commandment, was a serious charge punishable by death. Underlining its seriousness is the fact that the same punishment applied to murder. (CCC 1864, 2148, 2162)

Psalm 80 A shepherd guides his sheep and protects his flock from danger, so it is an apt metaphor to describe the gentle love of God. In a time when the psalmist was sensing God’s absence, he prayed that God would lead his people once again. The metaphor of the vine points out that new life relies on the root for its nutrition and sustenance. The connection to history cannot be forgotten, for it is through reflection on the roots of Israel that the people could recall God’s constant protection and guidance as he led the people out of Egypt and eventually into the Promised Land. 

The loss of the Promised Land on account of the people’s infidelity prompted the psalmist to write words of lamentation over this painful state of affairs but did not remove the hope and expectation for a messiah. Christ referred to himself as the vine and his disciples as the branches (cf. Jn 15:5), pointing out that our supernatural life is entirely dependent upon him. (Cf. St. John Paul II, General Audience, April 10, 2002)

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

Who’s Going with Israel? 

The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin. (Ex 34:6-7) 

(*Walking With God: A Journey Through the Bible by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins)

Prayer by Fr Mike: “Father in Heaven, we know that you are good and that you are faithful, that when we turn to you, you are already there. You are the one who actually helps us turn to you. Lord God, even the very fact that we are able to listen to your Word is your gift. The very fact that we want to listen to your Word is itself your gift. Lord God we find every time we turn our hearts to you, our minds to you, our eyes to you, you are already there. That every one of our prayers is a response to you, every one of our prayers is a response to your love that already exists, every one of our prayers is a response to your Grace that is already given. Lord God, we ask you please do not abandon us. Please never abandon us, for without you we would fail. We would fail not only to live, we would fail to exist. So we trust you with all of our hearts and all of our lives. We give you praise today, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”


St. Stephen really enraged the Sanhedrin when he called them stiff-necked like their fathers in Exodus 33 for rejecting God in their worship to the Golden Calf.  The Sanhedrin rejected God the Son, but what was their idolatry?  Perhaps when they said "We have no king but Caesar"  who held the title "son of god" at the time.

Another sign that Jesus was "New Moses" that was anticipated was the transfiguration, where he took his three closest apostles up the mountain, and they witnessed his transfiguration, his face shining in particular, and speaking with Elijah and Moses.  A very similar event occured with Moses at Mount Sinai:  he had previously brought Aaron and his two sons up the mountain, and here in Exodus 34, as he came down from the mountain, his face was also shining.  Both passages include a reaction that the poeple, and the apostles, "were afraid"

What do the Bread of the Presence in the Tabernacle, and Adoration of the Eucharist have in common? So much! (From “Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist by Dr. Brant Pitre)

According to Jewish tradition, the Levite Priests would bring the bread of the presence out of the tabernacle/temple for all to see at major feast like Passover, elevating it saying "Behold, the Love of God for you." How strikingly similar that at the celebration of the New Passover -- the Mass -- our priests elevated the Eucharist and pray, "Behold the Lamb of God"

The Law and penalty of Blaspheming the name of God. Interestingly, the Sanhedrin condemned Jesus to Death for saying “I Am,” but rather than “lawfully stone him to death themselves, they took him to Pilate for a Roman execution instead. They not only falsely accused God the Son of blasphemy, but didn’t even uphold their own law!