Scripture: 1st Reading: Deut34,1-12; Resp. Psalm: Ps66,1-3,5,8,16-17; Gosp. Accl.: 2Cor5,19; Gospel: Mt18,15-20
No prophet in Israel like him. Yahweh knew him and spoke to him face to face. He did signs and wonders in Egypt at the command of Yahweh. He exercised full and mighty power in the name of Yahweh. He performed terrible and awesome deeds in the sight of Israel. He was a true man of God.
Yahweh was his portion and cup. He was a man totally dedicated to the cause of his people. He put himself in the breach several times and offered to be wiped out and his entire family for the sake of Israel, the people he was called to lead.
Several times, he did not fully understand what Yahweh was asking of him. Several times he had to patiently learn to obey and not be led astray by the same people he was called to lead.
A truly great leader. He risked his life several times; put himself in harm's way with Pharaoh. But he was completely undeterred. He had been given a mission and he had an obligation to fulfil that mission. This great leader is Moses, the prophet of God.
He led the people of Israel with sincerity, compassion, devotion, wisdom, courage, disinterestedness, strength of character, passion for his mission, total obedience to Yahweh's voice. But whatever has a beginning must have an end. In our first reading today, this great man of God died. He was taken to the plains of Moab to see the extent and beauty of the land. But he did not enter it. He died on the plains of Moab and was buried there.
Such a life of total commitment. Such a life of disinterested service. Such a passion for the good of the people. This was the spirit this great man put in his servant Joshua when he laid hands on him to be his successor. This is the kind of spirit Christian leaders are to pray for to be able to carry out their duties and see them as missions for the good of the people they are called to serve.
That service must be taken with a deep sense of gratitude. Our Lord today adds a very important aspect to what the Christian and their leaders are called to be. Our Lord said we must be people who have the capacity to forgive. We must forgive and forgive and forgive. We cannot do otherwise if we are to be his true disciples. When we learn and live the life of forgiveness in its totality, whatever we ask will be done for us; whatever we bind on earth shall be bound in heaven. If we listen to Him, then whenever we gather in His name, He will be present in the midst of us.
The word of God challenges us today to understand that our lives are to be lived in service of others. That is the essence of a true and worthy life. Let us learn from the example of the life of Moses, the great prophet of God. Let us learn to forgive, let go, let God and reconcile. May God give us the grace to do so.
Let us pray: God our Father, we give thanks to your holy name for the gift of Moses to your chosen people. Teach us through the example of his holy life to imbibe the true lessons of leadership as service of your people. Assist us with your grace to be attentive to our responsibilities and carry them out with true diligence. Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.