Lent with the Book of Exodus (Ch 35)
March 19, 2024
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.

Exodus 35 (Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent)


Moses assembled all the congregation of the children of Israel, and said to them, “These are the words which Yahweh has commanded, that you should do them. ‘Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be a holy day for you, a Sabbath of solemn rest to Yahweh: whoever does any work in it shall be put to death. You shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations on the Sabbath day.’”

Moses spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, “This is the thing which Yahweh commanded, saying, ‘Take from among you an offering to Yahweh. Whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it as Yahweh’s offering: gold, silver, bronze, blue, purple, scarlet, fine linen, goats’ hair, rams’ skins dyed red, sea cow hides, acacia wood, oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense, onyx stones, and stones to be set for the ephod and for the breastplate.

“‘Let every wise-hearted man among you come, and make all that Yahweh has commanded: the tabernacle, its outer covering, its roof, its clasps, its boards, its bars, its pillars, and its sockets; the ark, and its poles, the mercy seat, the veil of the screen; the table with its poles and all its vessels, and the show bread; the lamp stand also for the light, with its vessels, its lamps, and the oil for the light; and the altar of incense with its poles, the anointing oil, the sweet incense, the screen for the door, at the door of the tabernacle; the altar of burnt offering, with its grating of bronze, its poles, and all its vessels, the basin and its base; the hangings of the court, its pillars, their sockets, and the screen for the gate of the court; the pins of the tabernacle, the pins of the court, and their cords; the finely worked garments for ministering in the holy place—the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons—to minister in the priest’s office.’”

All the congregation of the children of Israel departed from the presence of Moses. They came, everyone whose heart stirred him up, and everyone whom his spirit made willing, and brought Yahweh’s offering for the work of the Tent of Meeting, and for all of its service, and for the holy garments. They came, both men and women, as many as were willing-hearted, and brought brooches, earrings, signet rings, and armlets, all jewels of gold; even every man who offered an offering of gold to Yahweh. Everyone with whom was found blue, purple, scarlet, fine linen, goats’ hair, rams’ skins dyed red, and sea cow hides, brought them. Everyone who offered an offering of silver and bronze brought Yahweh’s offering; and everyone with whom was found acacia wood for any work of the service, brought it. All the women who were wise-hearted spun with their hands, and brought that which they had spun: the blue, the purple, the scarlet, and the fine linen. All the women whose heart stirred them up in wisdom spun the goats’ hair. The rulers brought the onyx stones and the stones to be set for the ephod and for the breastplate; with the spice and the oil for the light, for the anointing oil, and for the sweet incense. The children of Israel brought a free will offering to Yahweh; every man and woman whose heart made them willing to bring for all the work, which Yahweh had commanded to be made by Moses.

Moses said to the children of Israel, “Behold, Yahweh has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of workmanship; and to make skillful works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in cutting of stones for setting, and in carving of wood, to work in all kinds of skillful workmanship. He has put in his heart that he may teach, both he and Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. He has filled them with wisdom of heart to work all kinds of workmanship, of the engraver, of the skillful workman, and of the embroiderer, in blue, in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of those who do any workmanship, and of those who make skillful works.


From the beginning God formed man in view of his gifts. He chose the Patriarchs in order to save them. He began to prepare a people, teaching it, obstinate as it was, to follow him. He provided Prophets, to make men accustomed to having God’s Spirit within them and to having communion with God. God indeed needed no one’s company, but he shared his company with those who needed him. For those who pleased him he set down, like an architect, his plan of salvation. In his own person he gave guidance to his people in Egypt, though they did not see him. To those in the desert, who were restless, he gave an appropriate Law. To those who entered the good land he gave a fitting inheritance. For those who returned to the Father he killed the fatted calf, and put on them the best robe in these many ways he blended the human race to a harmony of salvation.
For this reason John said in the Apocalypse, His voice was like the sound of many waters. The Spirit of God is indeed like many waters, because the Father is both rich and great. And the Word passing through all those men, without grudging gave help to all who were obedient by drawing up in writing a Law adapted and applicable to every class among them. By this Law he prescribed how they were to make the Tabernacle, build the Temple, choose Levites, offer sacrifices and oblations, carry out rites of purification, and fulfil all the rest of their service.
He himself has no need of these things. Even before the time of Moses, every good was to be found in him, and the origin of every fragrance and all the smoke of pleasant incense. The people were quick to turn back to idols, but God instructed them. Many times he freed them, urging them to persevere in his service. He called them to things of supreme importance by means of things of less importance, that is, he called them by shadows to those things which are real; he called them by temporal things to eternal things, by the carnal to the spiritual, by the earthly to the heavenly. 
God told Moses, See that you make them all after the pattern which you have seen on the mountain. For forty days Moses was learning to remember God’s words, the heavenly patterns, the spiritual images, the foreshadowing of things to come. Paul, too, says this, For they drank from that spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. Paul, again, listed the things which were in the Law, and concluded, All these things happened to them but they were written down as a warning to us upon whom the end of the ages has come.
By means of shadows they began to learn the fear of God and perseverance in his service. So the Law was both instruction for them and the foretelling of things to come. (Irenaeus of Lyons)

Musical Selection (David Mowbray)


God of mercy and compassion,
grant that your household, the Church,
may persevere in obeying your will,
so that in our own day
those who offer you true service
may grow in number and holiness.
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.