The Stage is Set

Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator

With today's reading from the Book of Genesis, to put it into theatrical terms, the stage has been set. God speaks to Jacob and tells him not to be afraid to take his family to Egypt. As the scene opens in the Book of Exodus, we will find Israel in slavery in Egypt. God will hear their cries and will set the wheels in motion to set them free. The great story of salvation will be set into motion.

If someone asks me where they should begin to read the Bible, I will tell them that they should begin with the Book of Exodus. The story of the history of salvation begins in this book, but more importantly, God's covenant with the people of Israel is accomplished in the Book of Exodus. It is that covenant relationship, foreshadowed by the covenants made with Noah and Abraham, that will develop into the covenant that was accomplished in Jesus.

So we see that the Book of Exodus, especially beginning in Chapter 11, is really the prelude or preface to all that will be accomplished by God through Moses. The stories of the patriarchs of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob simply set the stage and tell us how Israel came to be in Egypt in the first place. Tomorrow we will read of the deaths of Jacob and Joseph, the last of the patriarchs. On Monday, we will begin to read from the Book of Exodus. The story continue of our salvation continues to unfold.

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