By Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB
“Then Moses climbed Mount Nebo from the plains of Moab to the top of Pisgah, across from Jericho. There the LORD showed him the whole land— from Gilead to Dan, all of Naphtali, the territory of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the western sea, the Negev and the whole region from the Valley of Jericho, the City of Palms, as far as Zoar…
From Deuteronomy 32:48-52; 34:1-7 and 34:1-7
On the heights of Mount Nebo, overlooking the splendid panorama of the Jordan Valley below, the memory of Moses invites us to "lift up our eyes" to embrace with gratitude not only God’s mighty works in the past, but also to look with faith and hope to the future which he holds out to us and to our world. Moses was not allowed to enter the land. This denial was a heavy price to pay for a seemingly minor offense, i.e., striking the rock twice instead of speaking to it (Numbers 20:6-12).
Not always can a leader realize his dreams and life's work. No matter how just the request- after all Moses had devoted his whole lifetime to bringing people to the borders of the Promised Land- God now denied him his last wish. Often we, too, must be content with only partial realization of our hopes, dreams and efforts. Moses' death highlighted one of his most salient qualities, that of humility.
Like Moses, we too have been called by name, invited to undertake a daily exodus from sin and slavery towards life and freedom, and given an unshakeable promise to guide our journey. In the waters of Baptism, we have passed from the slavery of sin to new life and hope. From this holy mountain Moses directs our gaze on high, to the fulfilment of all God’s promises in Christ.
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