Advent 2017 // Who was Moses?

Deuteronomy 34: 10-12

Happy Second Week of Advent! Advent is one of my favorite times of year. There are so many amazing feast days to celebrate, preparations to make before Christmas, wonderful music to listen to, it just makes me so happy. Something I absolutely love to do every Advent is to go to confession on the last possible day before Christmas Eve – not because I procrastinate, but because the choir is there practicing for the Christmas Masses, volunteers are setting up Christmas decorations, and the atmosphere is just so different from regular confession times.

This week we will be studying about Moses and God’s Covenant, why God chose to send angels to appear to shepherds to announce the birth of Jesus, and comparing similarities between Moses and Jesus. Let’s discuss Moses and his story. Before Moses was born, Pharaoh ordered the death of all Hebrew boys because he was worried they would grow up to become soldiers and take over Egypt. When Moses was born, his mother kept him hidden for several months, then made a basket and sent him floating down the Nile River. He was found by Pharaoh’s daughter and raised as her own. Because Pharaoh’s daughter adopted him, he became a prince. His mother was brought in as a wet nurse, though the Egyptians did not know about their relation.

As Moses grew up in Egyptian court, he learned how to read and write. He later went on to write the first five books of the bible. One day while watching his people work, he noticed an Egyptian beating a fellow Hebrew. When no one stepped in to break them up, Moses killed the Egyptian and buried his body. Pharaoh found out and tried to kill Moses, but he left Egypt and went to live in Midian. While there, he came to the rescue of seven sisters who had been driven away from a well by a group of shepherds.

He ended up marrying one of the sisters, named Zipporah, who later gave birth to a son named Gershom. Sometime after, God appeared to Moses in the form of a burning bush and told him that he was to free the Israelites and lead them out of Egypt. God told Moses that he would “stretch out {His} hand and strike the Egyptians with all the wonders that {He} will perform among them.” God sent a series of ten plagues to Egypt to show the Egyptians that He was more powerful than any of their false gods, including the death of Pharaoh’s firstborn son (as well as the rest of the Egyptian’s firstborn sons and the firstborn of all the livestock). After the Egyptians discovered the death of the firstborns, Pharaoh called for Moses and his brother Aaron, and told them to take the Israelites and their livestock and leave Egypt. The Israelites fled Egypt and Moses led them across the Red Sea to safety when Pharaoh had a change of heart and chased after them.

In a couple of days, we’ll learn about God’s Covenant with Moses and what he and the other Israelites went through after leaving Egypt. Today, spend some time thinking about how you discern God’s will for you. For Moses, it was pretty obvious when God appeared to him in the burning bush and told him specifically what He wanted him to do. Unfortunately, it isn’t always that clear for us, and it can sometimes be difficult to know when God is calling us to do something, especially when we have our own ideas of what we want to do.

What do you do to discern God’s will? Do you spend extra time in Mass and/or adoration? Do you consult with a close friend or spiritual director?

Try to find a quiet area today and spend some time in quiet prayer, allowing God to speak to you. If you printed this journal, use this space to write down or draw some of your thoughts during that quiet time. If you haven’t, maybe you can use a different notebook, scrap of paper, or even take notes on your phone.