Apostolic Palace Library
Wednesday, 17 June 2020
Wednesday, 17 June 2020
Catechesis - 7. The prayer of Moses
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
In our itinerary on the theme of prayer, we are realizing that God has never loved having to deal with "easy" prayers. Nor will Moses be a "weak" interlocutor, from the first day of his vocation.
When God calls him, Moses is humanly "a failure". The book of Exodus depicts him in the land of Midian as a fugitive. As a young man he had felt pity for his people, and had also taken sides in defense of the oppressed. But soon he discovers that, despite good intentions, justice does not flow from his hands, if anything violence. Here the dreams of glory are shattered: Moses is no longer a promising official, destined for a rapid career, but one who has taken advantage of the opportunities, and now grazes a flock that is not even his own. And it is precisely in the silence of the Midian desert that God summons Moses to the revelation of the burning bush: "" I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob ". Then Moses covered his face, because he was afraid to look towards God "( Ex 3,6).
To God who speaks, who invites him to take care of the people of Israel again, Moses opposes his fears, his objections: he is not worthy of that mission, does not know the name of God, will not be believed by the Israelites, has a tongue that stutters ... And so many objections. The word that flourishes most often on Moses' lips, in every prayer he addresses to God, is the question: "why?". Why did you send me? Why do you want to free this people? In the Pentateuch there is even a dramatic passage, where God reproaches Moses for his lack of trust, a lack that will prevent him from entering the promised land (cf. Nm 20,12).
With these fears, with this heart that often falters, how can Moses pray? Indeed, Moses appears to be a man like us. And this also happens to us: when we have doubts, but how can we pray? We don't come to pray. And it is for this weakness, as well as for its strength, that we are struck by it. Assigned by God to transmit the Law to his people, founder of divine worship, mediator of the highest mysteries, it will not for this reason cease to maintain close ties of solidarity with his people, especially in the hour of temptation and sin. Always attached to the people. Moses never lost the memory of his people. And this is a greatness of the shepherds: do not forget the people, do not forget the roots. This is what Paul says to his beloved young Bishop Timothy: "Remember your mother and grandmother, your roots, of your people ". Moses is so close to God that he can talk to him face to face (cf.Ex 33.11); and he will remain so close to men as to feel mercy for their sins, for their temptations, for the sudden nostalgia that the exiles turn to the past, thinking back to when they were in Egypt.
Moses does not deny God, nor does he deny his people. It is consistent with his blood, it is consistent with the voice of God. Moses is therefore not authoritarian and despotic leader; indeed, the book of Numbers defines him as "more humble and meek than any man on earth" (cf. 12: 3). Despite his privileged condition, Moses never ceases to belong to that group of poor in spirit who live by making trust in God the viaticum of their journey. He is a man of the people.
Thus, the most proper way to pray to Moses will be intercession (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church , 2574). His faith in God is one with the sense of fatherhood that he nourishes for his people. Scripture habitually depicts him with his hands stretched upwards, towards God, almost as a bridge with his own person between heaven and earth. Even in the most difficult moments, even on the day when the people repudiate God and himself as a guide to make themselves a golden calf, Moses does not feel like putting his people aside. It is my people. It is your people. It is my people. It does not deny God or the people. And he says to God: «This people has committed a great sin: they have made themselves a golden god. But now, if you forgive their sin ... Otherwise, erase me from your book you wrote! " ( E.g.32.31 to 32). Moses does not trade the people. It's the bridge, it's the intercessor. Both, the people and God, and he is in the middle. He doesn't sell his people for a career. He is not a climber, he is an intercessor: for his people, for his flesh, for his history, for his people and for God who called him. It is the bridge. What a fine example for all the shepherds who must be "bridges". For this, it is called pontifex , bridges. Shepherds are bridges between the people to whom they belong and God, to whom they belong by vocation. So is Moses: “Lord forgive their sin, otherwise if you do not forgive, erase me from your book that you have written. I don't want to make a career with my people. "
And this is the prayer that true believers cultivate in their spiritual life. Even if they experience people's shortcomings and their distance from God, these prayers do not condemn them, do not reject them. The attitude of the intercession is proper to the saints, who, in imitation of Jesus, are "bridges" between God and his people. In this sense, Moses was the greatest prophet of Jesus, our advocate and intercessor (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church , 2577). And even today, Jesus is the pontifex , it is the bridge between us and the Father. And Jesus intercedes for us, shows the Father the wounds that are the price of our salvation and intercedes. And Moses is the figure of Jesus who prays for us today, intercedes for us.
Moses urges us to pray with the same ardor of Jesus, to intercede for the world, to remember that despite all its frailties, it always belongs to God. All belong to God. The ugliest sinners, the most wicked people, the most corrupt leaders are children of God and Jesus hears this and intercedes for everyone. And the world lives and thrives thanks to the blessing of the just, to the prayer of piety, to this prayer of piety, the saint, the just, the intercessor, the priest, the Bishop, the Pope, the layman, any baptized person, raises incessantly for men, in every place and at all times of history. Think of Moses, the intercessor. And when we feel like condemning someone and we get angry - getting angry is good but condemning is not good - we intercede for him: this will help us a lot.
Je salue cordially les fidèles de langue française. Vendredi prochain, nous célèbrerons la solennité du Cœur de Jésus. N'ayons pas peur de lui présenter toutes les intentions de notre humanité qui souffre, ses peurs, ses misères. Que ce Cœur, plein d'amour pour les hommes, women à chacun l'espérance et la confiance! Que Dieu vous bénisse!
[ I cordially greet the French-speaking faithful. Next Friday we will celebrate the solemnity of the Heart of Jesus. Do not be afraid to present to him all the intentions of our suffering humanity, its fears, its miseries. May this Heart, full of love for men, give everyone hope and trust! God bless you! ]
I greet the English-speaking faithful joining us through the media. Upon you and your families I invoke the joy and peace of the Lord. May God bless you!
[ I greet the English-speaking faithful connected through social media. I invoke upon you and your families the joy and peace of the Lord. God bless you! ]
Herzlich grüße ich die Gläubigen deutscher Sprache. Mose betet nicht für sich, er betet für andere, er wird zum großen Fürsprecher des Volkes Gottes. Machen auch wir uns bewusst, dass wir nie nur als einzelne, sondern immer in der Gemeinschaft der Kirche vor Gott stehen, mehr noch, dass wir alle Söhne und Töchter der einen Menschheitsfamilie sind. Das soll auch an unserem Gebet füreinander sichtbar werden. Gott marks euch!
[ I cordially greet the German-speaking faithful. Moses does not pray for himself, he prays for others, he becomes the great intercessor of the people of God. We too must realize that we are never before God only as individuals, but also as members of the Church and children of the one human family . This should also become visible in the way we pray for one another. God bless you! ]
I cordially greet the los fieles de lengua española, que siguen esta catequesis a través de los medios de comunicación social. Pasado mañana, el viernes, celebramos the solemnidad of the Sagrado Corazón de Jesús; y vinculada a esta fiesta se encuentra la Jornada de santificación sacerdotal. The spirit to rezar por los sacerdotes, por vuestro párroco, por aquellos que están cerca de ustedes y conocen ..., para que a través de vuestra oración el Señor los fortalezca en su vocación, los comfortably su ministerio y sean siempre ministros de la Alegría of the Evangelio para todas las gentes. Que Dios los bendiga.
[ Dirijo uma cordial saudação aos fiéis de língua portuguesa, encorajando-vos a tornar-vos, com a vossa oração de intercessão eo vosso exemplo de vida cristã, "luz" para os irmãos, especially para aqueles que se encontram na escuridão das suas fra , de modo que se deixem iluminar pela misericórdia divina. Que Deus vos abençoe! ]
[ I extend a cordial greeting to the Portuguese-speaking faithful. With your intercessory prayer and your example of Christian life, I encourage you to become "light" for the brothers, especially for those who are in the darkness of their frailties, so that they may allow themselves to be illuminated by divine mercy. God bless you! ]
أحيي جميع المؤمنين الناطقين باللغة العربية ، المتابعين لهذه المقابلة عَبر وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي. يحثُنا موسى على الصلاة بمثل صلاة يسوع الحارّة ، وعلى التشفع من أجل العالم ، وأن نتذكر أنّه على الرغم من كل ضعهها. ويعيش العالم ويزدهر بفضل بركة البّار ، وصلاة التقوى التي يرفعها القديسون باستمرار من أجل الناس. ليبارككم الربّ جميعًا ويحرسكم دائمًا من كل شر!
[ I greet the Arabic-speaking faithful who follow this meeting through the social media. Moses urges us to pray with the same ardor of Jesus, to intercede for the world, to remember that despite all its frailties, it always belongs to God. And the world lives and thrives thanks to the blessing of the just, to the prayer of piety that the saints raise incessantly for men. The Lord bless you all and always protect you from all evil! ]
Pozdrawiam serdecznie Polaków. Dzisiaj przypada liturgiczne wspomnienie świętego Brata Alberta Chmielowskiego, opiekuna ubogich. Pomagał on bezdomnym i zmarginalizowanym powracać do godnego życia w społeczeństwie. Na wzór świętego Franciszka z Asyżu nazywany jest polskim „Biedaczyną”. Jego życiową dewizą było zawołanie: „Być dobrym jak chleb”. Naśladujmy go w bratniej miłości, niosąc pomoc głodnym, zagubionym życiowo, ubogim, potrzebującym, a zwłaszcza bezdomnym. Niech będzie pochwalony Jezus Chrystus.
[ I cordially greet all the Poles. Today recurs the liturgical memory of the Holy Brother Albert Chmielowski, protector of the poor. He helped the homeless and marginalized to find a worthy place in society. Having imitated the example of St. Francis of Assisi, he is called the Polish "Poverello". The motto of his life was: "Be as good as bread". Let us follow him in brotherly love, bringing help to the hungry, the defeated of life, the poor, the needy and above all the homeless. Praised be Jesus Christ .]
Today is the "Day of Consciousness", inspired by the testimony of the Portuguese diplomat Aristides de Sousa Mendes, who, eighty years ago, decided to follow the voice of conscience and saved the lives of thousands of Jews and others persecuted. Freedom of conscience can always and everywhere be respected; and may every Christian give an example of consistency with a conscience righteous and illuminated by the Word of God.
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I greet the Italian-speaking faithful. The day after tomorrow is the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus: a feast so dear to the Christian people. I invite you to discover the riches that are hidden in the Heart of Jesus, to learn to love your neighbor.
I address my thoughts to the elderly, young people, the sick and newlyweds. Turn your gaze to the Heart of Jesus and you will find peace, comfort and hope. I cordially bless you!
FULL TEXT + Image Source: Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation from the Italian
FULL TEXT + Image Source: Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation from the Italian