Something extraordinary happens in today’s first reading from the book of Exodus. Moses is returning from the mountain where the Lord has just given him the ten commandments inscribed upon stone tablets. The Lord speaks to him again, venting his fury against the Hebrews who, in Moses’ temporary absence, have already turned to other gods. In his fury, he wants to annihilate them, and start all over again with Moses leading another people. What is extraordinary is what happens next. Moses could have said: “Okay. Who will this new people be?” But no, Moses intercedes for God’s chosen people, and in a most effective, astute way. He simply reminds the Lord of his past actions. He is the one who chose Abraham, to make of him a new people, his people. He reminds him of Isaac and Jacob, and of how he laid down, in the twelve sons of Jacob, the basis for this new people. He reminds the Lord of his solemn promise, how he swore to them “by his own self”: “I will multiply your descendants like the stars of heaven,…” Of course, this people that he wants to obliterate are precisely those descendants whom he had promised to the patriarchs. What’s a Lord supposed to do? And so the most extraordinary thing of all happens: the Lord changes his mind, thanks to the astute intercession of Moses.
Of course, the Lord didn’t really change his mind. God’s plans are fixed from all eternity, and nothing can ever change them. The more profound truth behind this incident is that God had willed and foreseen that his forgiveness and redemption of his people would unfold via the intercession of Moses.
The Letter to the Hebrews in the New Testament is heavily inspired by this incident. The author of that letter sees Jesus, especially the Risen Jesus, as the New Moses, an eternal high priest who stands before the Father, interceding always and effectively for his people on earth. The reasoning is as follows: God changed his mind on the strength of the intercession of Moses, a mere mortal. How much more will he be attentive to the intercession of his Beloved Son on our behalf?! Yes, we have, in the Risen Jesus, a new Moses, interceding always and effectively on our behalf with his Father. What then, should we fear? This brings to mind the beautiful words of St. Paul: “For I am sure that nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Rm 8,38,39
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On a lighter note, you will have noticed that Our Lady of Namacpacan is with us again! She has returned to Vancouver for a full year. She will not spend the year in our church however. She will be moved from household to household, until the time of her departure in August 2020, at which time she will return to our church for a farewell celebration. It’s a joy to have her back in our church, even if only for two weekends. Let us pray that this, her second stay in the Lower Mainland, will be a time of grace for all those who will pray to her in our church, and for all those who will welcome her into their homes. Just remember: it was the will of the Father that many of his graces be poured out upon his beloved via the intercession of Mary, just as he had foreseen an interceding role for Moses. We do well always to turn to Mary that she might intercede on our behalf with her Son, Jesus. Her intercession is all-powerful. After all, she is his mother.