Thursday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

The exodus, the vicissitude of every man

Moses did exactly as the Lord had commanded him …It was Moses who erected the Dwelling … He spread the tent over the Dwelling and put the covering on top of the tent, as the Lord had commanded him. He took the commandments and put them in the ark … He brought the ark into the Dwelling and hung the curtain veil, thus screening off the ark of the commandments, as the Lord had commanded him. Then the cloud covered the meeting tent, and the glory of the Lord filled the Dwelling. Moses could not enter the meeting tent, because the cloud settled down upon it and the glory of the Lord filled the Dwelling. Whenever the cloud rose from the Dwelling, the Israelites would set out on their journey. But if the cloud did not lift, they would not go forward; only when it lifted did they go forward …  Ex 40,16-21.34-38

The one of the exodus is the fundamental book of the Old Testament: the vicissitudes which are thereby narrated go beyond its pages and give meaning to all the other books. It is also the prophetic reference to the entire New Testament and of the gospels themselves. The book is set basing upon four main events: the  exodus of the Jewish people from the slavery in Egypt, the long march in the desert, the climb to the Mount Sinai to receive the God’s law and find its new identity, the arrival in the Promised Land. The historical event of the exodus, as well as being the foundation of the unity of Israel, can be considered the reference code to any civilization and in a broad sense to every man who appears on the earth. The spirit of the exodus has been, in fact, the paradigm of all human adventure which has enabled the man to escape from an unacceptable condition to a new one, dreamed as a Promised Land. The epos of the early pioneers who came to the Americas, the peaceful revolutions in India’s of Mahatma Gandhi and of Martin Luther King in the United States, the theology of the liberation in South America and the exodus from the Africa and from the other continents towards the western civilization, are all human vicissitudes animated by that spirit. The life itself for a man of faith is the exodus from an unfair and limited state towards the promised land of the eternity, where everything is perfect and each justice shall be made. The exodus is also the model of each christian conversion, which can be regarded as a passing from the indifference of the agnosticism to go towards the truth and the hope of the gospel. This journey of redemption and of human and christian ripening, prophesied by the history of Israel, is led by the Holy Spirit, in the same way as in the today’s passage it is guided by that cloud which rises and stops: “Whenever the cloud rose from the Dwelling, the Israelites would set out on their journey”.

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