Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Deuteronomy 34, 1-12

Then, leaving the Plains of Moab, Moses went up Mount Nebo, the peak of Pisgah opposite Jericho, and Yahweh showed him the whole country: Gilead as far as Dan,

the whole of Naphtali, the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, the whole country of Judah as far as the Western Sea,

the Negeb, and the region of the Valley of Jericho, city of palm trees, as far as Zoar.

Yahweh said to him, 'This is the country which I promised on oath to give to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, saying: I shall give it to your descendants. I have allowed you to see it for yourself, but you will not cross into it.'

There in the country of Moab, Moses, servant of Yahweh, died as Yahweh decreed;

he buried him in the valley, in the country of Moab, opposite Beth-Peor; but to this day no one has ever found his grave.

Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, his eye undimmed, his vigour unimpaired.

The Israelites wept for Moses on the Plains of Moab for thirty days. The days of weeping for the mourning rites of Moses came to an end.

Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him, and him the Israelites obeyed, carrying out the order which Yahweh had given to Moses.

Since then, there has never been such a prophet in Israel as Moses, the man whom Yahweh knew face to face.

What signs and wonders Yahweh caused him to perform in Egypt against Pharaoh, all his servants and his whole country!

How mighty the hand and great the fear that Moses wielded in the eyes of all Israel!


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

After Moses had spoken to the people and had passed his role on to who would succeed him, God showed him the land he sought and dreamt of. Just because he would not possess it, or touch it, or see it with his own eyes, does not mean he could not rejoice and find what he believed in and worked for! To possess something does not mean to understand it, or preserve it! How much disappointment is born from pride, which makes us believe that what we have conquered is our own, and makes us consider what we do not control as useless. Thus we often make hope impossible and we are incapable of enjoying what we have. Moses went up to the top of Mount Nebo and there the Lord showed him the land below. It is as if the Lord wanted to reassure Moses that his hope and the fruits of his path were not lost because he would not possess them personally! God promises what humanity truly seeks: the future, descendants, that which goes beyond one’s personal limits. It is not by chance that the Book of Deuteronomy says that in spite of his age Moses’ eyes were not dull and his energy was unexhausted. Joshua continued after him, because Moses had laid his hands upon him. Whoever wants to preserve what he or she is and has will lose it or take it from others. The Book comments that no prophet equal to Moses was ever born in Israel, for he was the one God spoke to face to face. However, not even his tomb is preserved, because he thought of himself in humble terms, until the end, as a servant of God. That is why his fruits remain. To leave others, to follow what the Lord asks of us, even though it may seem little or disappointing in human terms, is the true response to the quest for eternity and fullness that our life calls for.