Summary: In faith we must weep, like the people of Israel, when we hear the Law of God; there are three reasons to do so.
Thursday of the 26th week in Course 2013
Pray the Lord of the Harvest of Faith
And he said to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. 3 Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.
The people of Nehemiah’s day wept because they heard the words of Torah–the Law of God–and knew how they had fallen short of God’s requirements. We always must bear in mind that any rule that God lays down for us is not going to do God any good. God cannot be improved; God cannot grow in virtue. He is infinitely good, and true, and beautiful. He gives us a natural law, and divine positive law, and Church law for our good. If we weep when we hear the words of God’s law, it should always be for two reasons, and sometimes for a third. The first is that we should weep in joy because God has found us worthy to hear the Law. Many never hear the Word of God. That’s why we have missionaries and worldwide communication channels like EWTN–to bring them God’s word.
The second reason to weep–and blessed are they who mourn–is that mankind, even our nation, has fallen short. Just think of the millions of children who have been murdered chemically or surgically before taking their first breath. Our nation has a great debt to pay for that genocide. We must mourn and pray for forgiveness and repentance, especially among our political leaders of both parties who don’t put the right to life beyond every other consideration.
And, of course, the third reason to weep is over our own sins. We have turned our backs so many times on God’s law because we think we know better. Or maybe it’s that we feel our backs are against the wall and we can’t do good. We try to do some evil so that good may come of it. But it never works, does it? At some point, when you entertain evil in your home, she’ll come back and burn down the whole house.
When we mourn, we must pray to the Lord of the harvest of faith for lay and clerical ministers of the Gospel to rise up and spread the word so we may reap a harvest of faith in our city, state and nation–and throughout the whole world.
The popes invoke Moses, the Lawgiver, but turn their attention to his role as mediator. In this he was a foreshadower of Jesus: “
1. In the faith of Israel we also encounter the figure of Moses, the mediator. The people may not see the face of God; it is Moses who speaks to YHWH on the mountain and then tells the others of the Lord’s will. With this presence of a mediator in its midst, Israel learns to journey together in unity. The individual’s act of faith finds its place within a community, within the common “we” of the people who, in faith, are like a single person — “my first-born son”, as God would describe all of Israel (cf. Ex 4:22). Here mediation is not an obstacle, but an opening: through our encounter with others, our gaze rises to a truth greater than ourselves. Rousseau once lamented that he could not see God for himself: “How many people stand between God and me!”11 … “Is it really so simple and natural that God would have sought out Moses in order to speak to Jean Jacques Rousseau?”12 On the basis of an individualistic and narrow conception of conscience one cannot appreciate the significance of mediation, this capacity to participate in the vision of another, this shared knowledge which is the knowledge proper to love. Faith is God’s free gift, which calls for humility and the courage to trust and to entrust; it enables us to see the luminous path leading to the encounter of God and humanity: the history of salvation.”