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The Bible In A Year: Day 37

Exodus 39-40
Psalm 33
Mark 4

Chapter 39 of exodus is similar to 36-38 from yesterday, in that it goes over the people building what had been instructed in previous chapters when God gave these plans to Moses in the mountain.

Moses overseas the construction of the tabernacle and all its furniture and sacred fixtures in chapter 40 because only he would know if it matched the vision he’d seen of heaven. After he finished putting together all the materials into the finished structure, then he moved on to anointing and consecrating all the things they had made, and Aaron and his sons.

When all this was finished the glory of God descended on the tent, in a way that it will at the dedication of the temple, and it moves ahead of them as a sign to pack up the tabernacle and move on.

Mark 4

Jesus once again is teaching in parables, this time it’s the parable of the sower, the same one we read in Matthew 13. Just as In Matthew’s telling of this part of Jesus’ ministry, he also gives an explanation of the parable to his disciples.

He then tells a parable found only in Mark, where a planter sows seeds and even though he can’t see the forces of nature that make them grow, they still mature into a crop and are ready for the harvest. This harvest time is often used by Jesus in parables to mean the final judgment at the end of time. So the crop that grows is the kingdom of heaven growing through the church, by unseen and invisible help of the Holy Spirit.

The maturing grain signifies our increase in virtue. First, the seeds of good intentions are sown; these gradually bring forth the blade of repentance and ultimately the mature ear of charitable works. When established in virtue, we are made ripe for God’s harvest.

Saint Gregory The Great

Jesus gets into a boat with the apostles after teaching these parables, and they head across the Sea of Galilee. When the storm begins to rage and they find him asleep they wake him up and say they’re all going to die. But Jesus just says a few words and the seas immediately calm. This is a subtle way, to us 2000 years later at least, that he showed the apostles his divinity. Only God had the power to control the stormy seas. That’s what makes them take notice and ask each other who he really is.

The episode at sea signifies the drama of the Christian life. All of God’s children embark with Christ on a life that is full of dangerous storms, especially attacks from evil spirits and temptations of the flesh. We must learn to trust in Christ daily, since he alone can restrain these forces and bring us to the safe harbor of salvation.

Saint Augustine

Tomorrow’s Readings:
Leviticus 1-4
Psalm 3

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