Day 59: Obligations to God

Numbers 8:5-26 This chapter gives detailed instructions for the consecration rights of the Levites. The law regulating the consecration of the Levites in some manner are a type of the consecration rites of the New Covenant in which the priests and bishops are ordained to act in persona Christi capitis, “in the Person of Christ the Head,” through the Sacrament of Holy Orders (TYPOLOGY!!). The most important consecratory act takes place in the Liturgy of the Eucharist in which bead and wine become the BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST. (CCC 931, 1294, 1377-1380, 1535, 1556)

Ch 9:1-14 The Passover feast was celebrated even in the desert to commemorate the Israelites’ deliverance from Egypt. Those who could not celebrate the Passover on the assigned day through no fault of their own could celebrate it the following month. (CCC 1334)

Deuteronomy 8:1-20 Israel was tested and formed by its travails in the desert. It was a difficult journey but an essential part of God’s plan. Although the fidelity of the Israelites was not constant, God gave them paternal care and protection to form in them a profound identity as the Chosen People. At the same time this long sojourn purified them in such a way that they would have a deeper knowledge and friendship with God. (CCC 54-64)

Ch 8:3 The manna from Heaven, which sustained the Israelites in the desert for forty years, reminded the people that they had to live and be nourished by the WORD OF GOD. We also ask God for daily sustenance when we recite the Lord’s Prayer: “Give us this day our daily bread.” Christ recited this verse in reply to Satan’s temptation to break his forty day fast in the desert by turning stones to bread (cf. Lk 4:4). (CCC 1334, 2835)

Ch 8:5 Know then in your heart: This refers to the very depth of our being. (CCC 2563)

Ch 8:10 You shall bless the Lord: We are capable of blessing God because He first blessed us. (CCC 2645)

Psalm 93: The voice of the waters, the swells of sea waves, and the thunder of waterfalls witness to the power of nature in such a way that we can feel small, vulnerable, and ever fearful. Yet, it also witnesses the power of God, who created everything and gave nature its essential properties. Recognizing the power of God in these waters prompts us to raise our voices in praise and thanksgiving for his bountiful goodness toward us. St. Augustine used the image of the rough seas to explain how, as the faithful raise their voices to spread the Gospel, the storms of rejection and persecution often arise in response, imperiling the boat, which is THE CHURCH. In such times we must not despair; rather, we should remain mindful that Christ is ALWAYS WITH US and that he who created the seas also has the power to calm them. This is the first of eight consecutive psalms extolling the kingship of God, and for this reason the psalm is prayed at Mass on the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Year B, the final Sunday of the liturgical year. Christ came to announce the Kingdom of God, a kingdom NOT OF THIS WORLD, which is a kingdom of GRACE, PEACE, TRUTH, and LOVE that is established within the hearts of Christ’s followers.

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

  • This Passover celebration is of tremendous importance.

  • The first Passover aimed to teach Israel faith in Yahweh, while compelling it to renounce Egyptian gods.

  • Unfortunately, Israel returned to idolatry at the golden calf.

  • Because of that debacle, Israel cannot leave Sinai until they have once again dedicated themselves to Yahweh through the Passover worship, and denounced the gods of Egypt.

  • Now, awaiting the Passover, Israel is reminded of the previous year’s events to give them hope that the Lord will complete their redemption by bringing them home.

  • Only after the Passover sacrifice can they follow God through the wilderness to their homeland.

  • Once the Passover is celebrated, the glory of the Lord descends on the tabernacle.

  • Worship lets loose God’s power and presence.

  • Israel is finally ready to leave Sinai.

  • Led by God’s Spirit, Israel breaks camp and is homeward bound at last.

(Country rooooaaaads take me hoooome to the plaaaaaace where I beloooooooong…….! ;) )

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

  • Numbers 9 is a short 13 months after the people of Israel have been set free from their slavery in Egypt

  • They are new to ALL OF THIS

  • They are new to this FREEDOM

  • They are new to WORSHIP

  • They are new to TRUSTING IN THE LORD

  • This is so important for us to understand

  • Deuteronomy 8 is after 38 years of wandering in the wilderness

  • This is 40 years after being free

  • This is Moses’ last speech as he is about to die and be taken to the Lord

  • Joshua is going to lead the Israelites across the Jordan River and conquer the Promised Land

  • What we hear in Numbers is about the gold lamp stand being made

  • We hear about the law of the Passover

  • We hear about the Levites’ consecration and service

  • We hear about the CLOUD AND FIRE

  • This is all for preparing the Israelites for life IN THE WILDERNESS

  • It is also for preparing the Israelites for life AFTER THE WILDERNESS

  • Deuteronomy takes place after all this right before they get to the Promised Land

  • Numbers 9 Remember in Exodus God established Passover as a perpetual institution

  • Passover is the ritual where an unblemished lamb is sacrificed, roasted with bitter herbs, and eaten with unleavened bread

  • This will happen EVERY SINGLE YEAR on the 14th day of the first month

  • The question will come up where some of the Israelites are UNCLEAN

  • So what happens to them, are they exempt?

  • Moses consults the Lord


  • Even if you come into contact with a dead body which makes you ritually unclean does NOT dispense you from celebrating Passover

  • Even if you are journeying this does NOT dispense you from celebrating Passover

  • This is so powerful for us to understand

  • The person who excuses themselves from this Passover Meal is CUT OFF from the Covenant, cut off from the People of God

  • We recognize that Jesus Christ said at the Last Supper, “This is the chalice of my blood, the blood of the NEW AND ETERNAL COVENANT. Do this in memory of me.”

  • We recognize that there might be some things that prevent us from attending Mass

  • BUT, if we ELECT to stay away from Mass, then we have essentially cut ourselves off from the People of God

  • The Passover was a FORESHADOWING (Or perhaps…...TYPOLOGY!!) of the TRUE GIFT of the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world

  • Jesus Christ in the Eucharist

  • Just like for the Passover, you are NOT exempt from attending Mass if you are traveling

  • If you choose to EXEMPT YOURSELF, then you are cut off (You will need Confession)

  • If we dispense ourselves from this TRUE AND LIVING WORSHIP in SPIRIT AND TRUTH of the Eucharist, then we are cut off (and we will need Confession)

  • The Cloud and Fire: this is an incredible image for TRUSTING IN THE LORD

  • Remember this is just 13 months after their liberation

  • They are being taught HOW TO TRUST IN GOD

  • While the Pillar of Fire and the Pillar of Cloud is over the Tabernacle, the Israelites stay there

  • When the Pillar of Fire and the Pillar of Cloud move, the Israelites move

  • This is powerful that we are called to do this in our lives as well



  • This all about TRUST IN GOD

  • Read Deuteronomy 8 again and again

  • What does Moses say?

  • He says that they shall REMEMBER ALL THE WAYS which the Lord God has led them these 40 years in the wilderness

  • Why?

  • So that God may humble them, testing them to know what is in their heart

  • So that God will see if they keep His commandments or not

  • God is not testing them because HE doesn’t know whether they will keep His commandments or not


  • Realize this, it is TRAINING

  • They are going to have to go into the Promised Land and FIGHT

  • They are going to be surrounded by people that DO NOT BELIEVE WHAT THEY BELIEVE

  • They are going to BE BLESSED WITH ABUNDANCE

  • The Israelites are TESTED AND TRAINED in the wilderness to TRUST GOD AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS

  • When they go into the Promised Land, they MUST EMBRACE THOSE COMMANDMENTS





  • God is going to bless the Israelites so exceedingly that they will be TEMPTED TO FORGET HIM

  • This is so powerful FOR ALL OF US TO REALIZE

  • Oftentimes, we think that we forget God in the darkness (possibly true)

  • But TOO OFTEN, we forget God in the sunny times

  • We forget God when we are abundantly blessed

  • We forget God when everything is going well

  • We start to believe that WE DON’T NEED GOD

  • We start to believe that WE CAN DO WITHOUT HIM

  • We start to believe that WE DID THIS BY OURSELVES

  • We start to believe that WE ARE SAFE

  • We start to believe that WE ARE SECURE

  • We start to believe that WE HAVE ENOUGH

  • That is the temptation that Deuteronomy 8 HIGHLIGHTS

  • When you have so much, you will be tempted to say this is what I’ve done, this is the work of my hands, and I DO NOT NEED TO FOLLOW THE LORD (I’ve been guilty of this before, how about you?)

  • Moses says when they come to that day, PLEASE PLEASE KNOW that it was God’s FAITHFULNESS

  • Move when God asks you to move

  • Stay when God asks you to stay

  • In times of scarcity and in times of abundance REMEMBER ALL THAT THE LORD HAS DONE

  • What an incredible gift :)

  • We will not stop praying for each other

  • We will not stop praying for Fr. Mike

  • We will not stop listening to God’s Word so He can continue to teach us what is in HIS HEART so that OUR HEARTS CAN BE LIKE HIS HEART

Prayer by Fr Mike: “Father in Heaven we thank you and give you praise. Thank you so much for your Word and thank you so much for your guidance. Because, Lord, without you we are lost. Without your light to illuminate the way to light our path, your word O Lord is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. Help us, Lord, to trust in your light. Help us to trust in the guidance that you give us. Help us to trust in your Word. Because, Lord, we can hear your Word and dismiss it. We can hear your Word and forget it. We can even see your great works, Lord, and we can forget them and we can forget you. Help us never ever to forget. Help us always to see where you are in our lives and always to hear your voice in our lives. Help us to always follow you wherever you lead no matter what. God, let that be our prayer today. Help us to follow you where you lead no matter what. We make this prayer in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen."