Lent with the Book of Exodus (Ch 24)
March 08, 2024
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.
Exodus 24 (Friday of the Third Week of Lent)

[Yahweh] said to Moses, “Come up to Yahweh, you, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship from a distance. Moses alone shall come near to Yahweh, but they shall not come near. The people shall not go up with him.”

Moses came and told the people all Yahweh’s words, and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice, and said, “All the words which Yahweh has spoken will we do.”

Moses wrote all Yahweh’s words, then rose up early in the morning and built an altar at the base of the mountain, with twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel. He sent young men of the children of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of cattle to Yahweh. Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. He took the book of the covenant and read it in the hearing of the people, and they said, “We will do all that Yahweh has said, and be obedient.”

Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, “Look, this is the blood of the covenant, which Yahweh has made with you concerning all these words.”

Then Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up. They saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was like a paved work of sapphire stone, like the skies for clearness. He didn’t lay his hand on the nobles of the children of Israel. They saw God, and ate and drank.

Yahweh said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain, and stay here, and I will give you the stone tablets with the law and the commands that I have written, that you may teach them.”

Moses rose up with Joshua, his servant, and Moses went up onto God’s Mountain. He said to the elders, “Wait here for us, until we come again to you. Behold, Aaron and Hur are with you. Whoever is involved in a dispute can go to them.”

Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. Yahweh’s glory settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. The seventh day he called to Moses out of the middle of the cloud. The appearance of Yahweh’s glory was like devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel. Moses entered into the middle of the cloud, and went up on the mountain; and Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.


In the twenty-fourth chapter of Exodus it is related that Moses, in confirmation of the old Law, put half the blood of the sacrifice into a cup, and the other half he shed upon the altar. And, after the book of the Law had been read, he sprinkled the blood upon the people and said unto them: This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in all these words. And so was the Old Testament ratified and confirmed with blood. And in like manner was the New Testament confirmed with blood, saving that, in order to declare the greater excellence of the New Testament brought by the Son of God, above the Old Testament brought by the prophet Moses, whereas the Old Testament was ratified with the blood of a brute beast, the New Testament was ratified with the blood of a rational man, and of that man who was also God, that is to say, with the blessed blood of our holy Saviour himself. And that self-same blood did our Lord here give unto his apostles in this blessed sacrament, as he plainly declared himself, saying: This is my blood of the New Testament, or: This is the chalice of the New Testament in my blood which shall be shed for you and for many for the remission of sins.
When our Lord said this, he declared therein the efficacy of the New Testament above the old, in that the old Law in the blood of beasts could only promise the remission of sin that was to come later. For as Saint Paul says: It was impossible that sin should be taken away by the blood of brute beasts. But the new Law with the blood of Christ does perform the thing that the old Law promised, that is, the remission of sin And therefore our Saviour said: This is the chalice of the New Testament in my blood – that is, to be confirmed in my blood – which shall be shed for the remission of sins.

His words also declared the wonderful excellence of this new blessed sacrament above the sacrifice of the paschal lamb, in these words: For you and for many. For in these words our Saviour spoke, says Saint Chrysostom, as though he meant to say: The blood of the paschal Lamb was shed only for the first-born among the children of Israel, but this blood of mine shall be shed for the remission of the sin of all the whole world. (Thomas More)


Musical Selection


The glory of these forty days
we celebrate with songs of praise,
for Christ, by whom all things were made,
himself has fasted and has prayed.

Alone and fasting Moses saw
the loving God who gave the law.
And to Elijah, fasting, came
the steed and chariots of flame.

So Daniel trained his mystic sight,
delivered from the lion’s might.
And John, the Savior’s friend, became
the herald of Messiah’s name.

Then grant, O God, that we may, too,
return in fast and prayer to you.
Our spirits strengthen with your grace,
and give us joy to see your face.


Merciful Lord,
pour forth your grace into our hearts,
that its power may restrain our unruly desires
and keep us true to your words of eternal life.
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.