Lent with the Book of Exodus (Ch 22)
March 06, 2024
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.
Exodus 22 (Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent)

“If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and kills it or sells it, he shall pay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep. If the thief is found breaking in, and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt of bloodshed for him. If the sun has risen on him, he is guilty of bloodshed. He shall make restitution. If he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft. If the stolen property is found in his hand alive, whether it is ox, donkey, or sheep, he shall pay double.

“If a man causes a field or vineyard to be eaten by letting his animal loose, and it grazes in another man’s field, he shall make restitution from the best of his own field, and from the best of his own vineyard.

“If fire breaks out, and catches in thorns so that the shocks of grain, or the standing grain, or the field are consumed; he who kindled the fire shall surely make restitution.

“If a man delivers to his neighbor money or stuff to keep, and it is stolen out of the man’s house, if the thief is found, he shall pay double. If the thief isn’t found, then the master of the house shall come near to God, to find out whether or not he has put his hand on his neighbor’s goods. For every matter of trespass, whether it is for ox, for donkey, for sheep, for clothing, or for any kind of lost thing, about which one says, ‘This is mine,’ the cause of both parties shall come before God. He whom God condemns shall pay double to his neighbor.

“If a man delivers to his neighbor a donkey, an ox, a sheep, or any animal to keep, and it dies or is injured, or driven away, no man seeing it; the oath of Yahweh shall be between them both, he has not put his hand on his neighbor’s goods; and its owner shall accept it, and he shall not make restitution. But if it is stolen from him, the one who stole shall make restitution to its owner. If it is torn in pieces, let him bring it for evidence. He shall not make good that which was torn.

“If a man borrows anything of his neighbor’s, and it is injured, or dies, its owner not being with it, he shall surely make restitution. If its owner is with it, he shall not make it good. If it is a leased thing, it came for its lease.

“If a man entices a virgin who isn’t pledged to be married, and lies with her, he shall surely pay a dowry for her to be his wife. If her father utterly refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.

“You shall not allow a sorceress to live.

“Whoever has sex with an animal shall surely be put to death.

“He who sacrifices to any god, except to Yahweh only, shall be utterly destroyed.

“You shall not wrong an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.

“You shall not take advantage of any widow or fatherless child. If you take advantage of them at all, and they cry at all to me, I will surely hear their cry; and my wrath will grow hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.

“If you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be to him as a creditor. You shall not charge him interest. If you take your neighbor’s garment as collateral, you shall restore it to him before the sun goes down, for that is his only covering, it is his garment for his skin. What would he sleep in? It will happen, when he cries to me, that I will hear, for I am gracious.

“You shall not blaspheme God, nor curse a ruler of your people.

“You shall not delay to offer from your harvest and from the outflow of your presses.

“You shall give the firstborn of your sons to me. You shall do likewise with your cattle and with your sheep. It shall be with its mother seven days, then on the eighth day you shall give it to me.

“You shall be holy men to me, therefore you shall not eat any meat that is torn by animals in the field. You shall cast it to the dogs.

Joshua was to introduce the people into the land of promise, not Moses. Now he called him an angel on account of the magnitude of the mighty deeds which he was to achieve (which mighty deeds Joshua the son of Nun did, as you can yourselves read) and on account of his office of prophet announcing the divine will. Similarly the Spirit, speaking in the person of the Father, calls the forerunner of Christ, John, a future angel, through the prophet: “Behold, I send my angel before your”—that is, Christ’s— “face, who shall prepare your way before you.” (Tertullian of Carthage)
The Lord tells us to relieve and lighten the burden of beasts of burden, even when they belong to our enemies. He is teaching us at a distance not to take pleasure in the misfortunes of others and not to laugh at our enemies. He wants to teach those who have exercised themselves in these disciplines to pray for their enemies. (Clement of Alexandria)
“You shall not appear before the Lord empty,” that is, enter not into the temple without sacrifices. Now if it is not right to go into the house of God without sacrifices, much more ought we to enter the assembly accompanied by our brethren. For this sacrifice and offering is better than that, when you bring a soul with you into the church. (John Chrysostom)
Musical Selection 
Take my life, and let it be Consecrated, Lord, to Thee: Take my moments and my days, Let them flow in ceaseless praise. 
Take my hands, and let them move At the impulse of Thy love: Take my feet, and let them be Swift and beautiful for Thee. 
Take my voice, and let me sing, Always, only, for my King: Take my lips, and let them be Filled with messages from Thee. 
Take my silver and my gold; Not a mite would I withhold: Take my intellect, and use Every power as Thou shalt choose. 
Take my will, and make it Thine; It shall be no longer mine: Take my heart − it is Thine own; It shall be Thy royal throne. 
Take my love; my Lord, I pour At Thy feet its treasure-store: Take myself, and I will be, Ever, only, all for Thee.



God of wisdom,
throughout these forty days you instruct your people
and nourish them with your word of life.
Teach us through self-denial to bind our hearts to your service
and make us one through constant prayer.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen.