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To: Salvation

From: Exodus 3:13-20
The Divine Name is Revealed
[3] Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them,
‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his
name?’ what shall I say to them?” [4] God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.”
And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” [5]
God said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The Lord, the God of your
fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, has sent me
to you’: this is my name forever and thus I am to be remembered throughout all
The Mission of Moses
[16] Go and gather the elders of Israel together, and say to them, ‘The Lord the
God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared
to me, saying, “I have observed you and what has been done to you in Egypt;
[17] and I promise that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt, to the land
of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the
Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey.” [18] And they will hearken to your
voice; and you and the elders of Israel shall go to the king of Egypt and say to
him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us; and now, we pray you,
let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the
Lord our God.’ [19] I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless com-
pelled by a mighty hand. [20] So I will stretch my hand and smite Egypt with all
the wonders which I will do it; after that he will let you go.”
3:13-15. Moses now raises another difficulty: he does not know the name of the
God who is commissioning him. This gives rise to the revelation of the name
“Yahweh” and the explanation of what it means—”I am who I am”.
According to the tradition recorded in Gn 4:26, a grandson of Adam, Enosh, was
the first to call upon the name of the Lord (Yahweh). Thus, the biblical text is sta-
ting that a part of mankind knew the true God, whose name was revealed to Mo-
ses in this solemn way (Ex 35:15 and 6:2). The patriarchs invoked God under
other names, to do with the divine attributes, such as the Almighty (”El-Shaddai”:
Gen 17:1; Ex 6:2-3). Other proper names of God which appear in very ancient
documents lead one to think that the name Yahweh had been known from along
time back. The revelation of the divine name is important in salvation history be-
cause by that name God will be invoked over the course of the centuries.
All kinds of suggestions have been put forward as to the meaning of Yahweh; not
all are mutually exclusive. Here are some of the main ones: a) God is giving an
evasive answer here because he does not want those in ancient times, contami-
nated as they were by magic rites, to think that because they knew name they
would have power over the god. According to this theory, “I am who I am” would
be equivalent to “I am whom you cannot know”. “I am unnameable”. This solution
stresses the transcendence of God. b) What God is revealing is his nature—that
he is subsistent being; in which case “I am who I am means I am he who exists
“per sibi”, absolute being. The divine name refers to what he is by essence; it
refers to him whose essence it is to be. God is saying that he “is”, and he is gi-
ving the name by which he is to be called. This explanation is often to be found
in Christian interpretation. c) On the basis of the fact Yahweh is a causative form
of the ancient Hebrew verb “hwh” (to be), God revealing himself as “he who cau-
ses to be”, the creator, not so much in the fullest sense of the word (as creator
of the universe) but above all the creator of the present situation—the one who
gives the people its being and who always stays with it. Thus, calling upon
Yahweh will always remind the good Israelite of his reason-for-being, as an in-
dividual and as a member of a chosen people.
None of these explanations is entirely satisfactory. “This divine name is myste-
rious just as God is mystery. It is at once a name revealed and something like
the refusal of a name, and hence it better expresses God as what he is — infini-
tely above everything that we can understand or say: he is the ‘hidden God’ (Is
45:15), his name is ineffable, and he is the God who makes himself close to
men (cf. Judg 1.3:18)” (”Catechism of the Catholic Church”, 206).
At a later time, around the 4th century BC, out of reverence for the name of Yah-
weh the use of the word was avoided; when it occurred in the sacred text it was
read as “Adonai”, my Lord. In the Greek version it is translated as “Kyrios” and
in the Latin as “Dominus”. “It is under this title that the divinity of Jesus will be
acclaimed: ‘Jesus is Lord’” (ibid., 209). The RSV always renders “Yahweh” as
“the Lord”. The medieval form Jehovah was the result of a misreading of the He-
brew text into which vowels were inserted by the Massoretes; it is simply a
mistake and there is no justification for the use of “Jehovah” nowadays (cf. ibid.,
3:16-22. The Lord comes back again to the subject of Moses’ mission; despite
all the obstacles, it will be a success. “The elders of Israel” (v. 16), that is, the
chiefs of clans, representing the whole community, will be happy to hear what
Moses has to say. The words “I have observed you” (v. 16: literally, “I. have car-
ried out an inspection among you”) are significant because they indicate the key
thing — God’s is a friendly presence; but it is also a demanding presence which
expects an account of the use we made of gifts received (cf. 32:34; Jer 9:24;
Hos 4:14). The three days’ journey (v. 18) would not take them to Sinai but it
was enough to get them away from Egypt. Later, three days will become a
number symbolizing divine action. See the note on 6:10-13.
The pharaoh, unlike the elders, will refuse to let the people go-making it clearer
that the Israelites will attain their freedom only if God comes to their rescue.
The “despoiling” of the Egyptians (v. 22) is by way of compensation for the years
they have spent with nothing to show for it (cf. Gen 15:14; Wis 10:17) and also
as a sort of booty of war (cf. Ex 11:2-3; 12:35-36): God comes out the victor in
the struggle against the pharaoh, and he gives the sons of Israel a share in the
booty. It may also be meant to signal festive joy: the Israelites are to dress up
to celebrate the victory God has given them.
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

3 posted on 07/17/2013 10:15:52 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Matthew 11:28-30
Jesus Thanks His Father
[28] Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. [29]
Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls. [30] For My yoke is easy, and My burden is
28-30. Our Lord calls everyone to come to Him. We all find things difficult in one
way or another. The history of souls bears out the truth of these words of Jesus.
Only the Gospel can fully satisfy the thirst for truth and justice which sincere peo-
ple feel. Only our Lord, our Master—and those to whom He passes on His power
— can soothe the sinner by telling him, “Your sins are forgiven” (Matthew 9:2). In
this connection Pope Paul VI teaches: “Jesus says now and always, ‘Come to
Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ His attitude to-
wards us is one of invitation, knowledge and compassion; indeed, it is one of of-
fering, promise, friendship, goodness, remedy of our ailments; He is our comfor-
ter; indeed, our nourishment, our bread, giving us energy and life” (”Homily on
Corpus Christi”, 13 June 1974).
“Come to Me”: the Master is addressing the crowds who are following Him, “ha-
rassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36). The Phari-
sees weighed them down with an endless series of petty regulations (cf. Acts
15:10), yet they brought no peace to their souls. Jesus tells these people, and
us, about the kind of burden He imposes: “Any other burden oppresses and cru-
shes you, but Christ’s actually takes weight off you. Any other burden weighs
down, but Christ’s gives you wings. If you take a bird’s wings away, you might
seem to be taking weight off it, but the more weight you take off, the more you
tie it down to the earth. There it is on the ground, and you wanted to relieve it
of a weight; give it back the weight of its wings and you will see how it flies” (St.
Augustine, “Sermon” 126).
“All you who go about tormented, afflicted and burdened with the burden of your
cares and desires, go forth from them, come to Me and I will refresh you and you
shall find for your souls the rest which your desires take from you” (St. John of
the Cross, “Ascent of Mount Carmel”, Book 1, Chapter 7, 4).
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

4 posted on 07/17/2013 10:18:53 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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