Scripture: Lectionary 398. Exodus 19:1-2,9-11, 16-20. Daniel
3:126.96.36.199.56. Matthew 13:10-17
Dei Verbum is the Vatican II decree on Divine Revelation. It helps us to
understand how God speaks to us through the Scriptures and through a living
Tradition. God speaks to Abraham as a friend to a friend. We see this
happening to Moses in the theophany that occurs at Mount Sinai. Moses is a
friend of God and we learn much from his relationship in the story of
Exodus. He believes and trusts in the leadership role that God has called
him to and realizes he cannot do it alone. God and he work together in
leading the people through the desert. Today with the great experience of
the cloud, the thunder, lightening, and fire we see God confirming in a
covenant what he has called Moses to do for the people. They, too, will be
led to a covenantal relationship with God.
The journey through the Sinai desert is not an ordinary one. God is with
them through the long years of wandering and Moses is the one who keeps
them focused on the ultimate goal of reaching a land God has promised to
them. They are being led to freedom.
Israel is receiving and working out with God its spiritual destiny. Like
Moses the people are bonded with God through the covenant of friendship
called a b’rit. This is a treaty in which they are dependent on God and
God’s fidelity. Through their voluntary commitment inspired in them by
Moses they will experience spiritual and bodily freedom.
We are given some evidence that this particular passage occured during the
month of June. From images of the zodiak seen in synagogues we realize
that these are not used as any form of predicting the future nor as magic
but as a way of honoring the sacredness of the seasons and those events
which occur among God’s people in salvation history. This month of the
Gemini symbol represents for the People of God the giving of the Torah that
is written and the Torah that is spoken similar to what we say about
Scripture and Tradition not Scripture alone (Scriptura sola). The Wisdom
teachers of Israel known as the Sages, “take (the symbol of the Gemini) as
a symbolizing of the writtten Torah and the oral Torah both having equal
value.” (Etz Hayim, page 436). Amen.