Episode 4

Published on:

2nd Feb 2021

Deuteronomy 04

Deuteronomy #4

In this sermon (9: 1– 10: 22) Moses continues to address dangers to the faith that might develop as a consequence of the conquest, a theme he began in chapters 7 and 8.

Moses preaches against the feeling of self-righteousness that defeating the Canaanites might engender. He states that victory can be no proof of virtue, for Israel’s history has been one of continuous provocation and rebellion. Nothing but the Canaanites’ wickedness and God’s oath to the patriarchs accounts for Israel’s conquest of Canaan. Moses concludes by calling on Israel not to act rebelliously in the future but to serve God and obey His commandments.

The outstanding example of rebelliousness is the incident of the golden calf, which Moses recalls at great length ( 9: 8– 21, 25– 29, and 10: 1– 11). This incident, in which Israel violated the Decalogue’s commandment against idolatry, almost led to Israel’s extinction.

This sin of self-sufficiency is a real danger to any believer, as Pops Francis reminds us. The Pope recalled that despite Peter's profession of faith, the Gospel of St. Matthew recounts that later on, when Christ announces his Passion, Death, and Resurrection, Peter tells Christ that "this shall never happen."

"Peter", Pope Francis said, "is scared, is scandalized; no more and no less than so many Christians who say 'This will never happen! I will follow you until here.' It is a way to follow Jesus to know him until a certain point.

"And this is the temptation of spiritual well-being. We have everything: we have the Church, we have Jesus Christ, the Sacraments, the Virgin Mary, everything, nice work for the Kingdom of Heaven, we are good, everyone. Because at least we need to think this because if we think the contrary, it is sin! But it is not enough to have spiritual well-being until a certain point."

By reflecting on the events that Israel faced, we are led to reflect on our own lives. Are we attributing victories and successes to ourselves and blaming God for failures? The truly Christian soul need to be reminded, like the Israelite, that often times, the truth is that all our successes are God's and our failures, Jesus assumed on the Cross for our sake. Thus, all that we have is Christ.

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About the Podcast

Mose's Commentary
The Book of Deuteronomy is Moses' commentary on the Law given in Leviticus. Here, Moses gives his farewell address to Israel, expressing both his love for his nation, his hopes and fears for its future.

Deuteronomy is the companion book to Leviticus. Together, they provide us a set of wide-ranging laws that govern the liturgical, sacrificial, familial, and civil life of Israel under one main heading: "Holiness unto the Lord." Yet, Moses knew how deeply flawed the nation was. Forty years in the wilderness has given him a profound understanding of the human condition and has made him acutely aware of its tendency to sin and to stubbornly refuse to surrender to the will of God. But forty years of companionship with the Lord has taught him about the surpassing love of God, his patience, his forbearance, his care for his people, and his great mercy.

By studying the Book of Deuteronomy we gain a deep insight into the mind of the great man of God, Moses, listen to his voice echoing through the centuries, filled with the wisdom of God and his mercy. Indeed, Moses is a foreshadowing of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by listening to the voice of Moses, we are better prepared to listen to the voice of the Master.

This in-depth study of Deuteronomy will help you to:

Better appreciate the importance of daily examination of conscience.
Develop a greater love for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and
Grow in the knowledge of the Pentateuch, so essential for a proper understanding of the New Testament.

About your host

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Michael Mouawad

Michael Joseph Mouawad, aka Naji Mouawad, is a Lebanese-born Maronite. The Maronite Rite is one of the eastern rites of the Catholic Church under the authority of the Pope. The Maronites go back to Antioch and are disciples of Saint Maron--hence the name.

Michael is a husband and a father of seven children. He taught scripture at several churches in the San Diego Area. Predominantly, he taught the bible at Saint Ephrem Maronite Church, and at Saint Margaret in Ocean Side. He chose to teach Scripture for Catholics who wanted to deepen their understanding of the Word of God and who were willing to dive deep into the text. While these studies are not a verse-by-verse examination of the pages, they dive deep into the original meaning. The singular goal of this study is to help every Catholic to live a more biblically-centered life and to understand our present times in light of the Scriptures.

Qorbono--notice no u!--is a Syriac word that means the Mass and the Eucharist. This was the site that Michael maintained for years to share these bible studies with the world and now he is happy to make them available via podcasts for easier access and availability.

Michael is also the author of a high-fantasy epic--The Epic of Ahiram. He has already published five books of that epic and is working on publishing the remaining four. The Epic is evangelization via story-telling. It introduces essential Catholic concepts, including angels, demons, and transubstantiation to a generation of readers who may have grown up never hearing of or understanding these notions.

Michael is a professional Lead Software architect with over twenty years of experience in this field and loves writing code for his own use.