Why did Moses bring the second set of tablets to God? Because he broke the first set. This can be factually verified by the biblical documentary below:
Moses was enraged at the Hebrews after their worship of the Golden Calf. It was out of anger that he broke the first set of tablets. As we read in the full passage of today’s First Reading, this is the reason that the Lord asked Moses to cut a second set of stone tablets. This way the Lord could, once again, write His Commandments upon them.
Jewish scholars offer three lessons from today’s First Reading that are relevant to the racial unrest revealed by recent events. Moses had a temper. He could act impetuously. God did not seem pleased with Moses’ destructive act. In the passage from Exodus, we read that God said, “Cut two stone tablets like the former, that I may write on them the words which were on the former tablets that you broke. First, God REVEALS where a breach has occurred.
The second insight is a comment on perhaps why God was not please with Moses’ actions. God didn’t want his people to have a broken set of tablets. An injustice has been committed. God has pointed out the wrongdoing. God will not leave it unaddressed. In effect, He said to Moses, “Look, you broke it. You fix it.” Before there can be any reconciliation between God and Moses, there needs to be REPENTANCE on the part of Moses.
God is not a cruel Judge. Repentance and reconciliation is difficult – possibly even impossible. Without reconciliation between humanity and God, not one enters heaven.
When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.
The third insight is that God gives Moses the tools he will need to RESTORE the situation. The stone has been provided. Directions are given. The love of God for Moses had not been lost. Moses needed to take the next step to repair the breach.
Allow me some personal musings. Deep introspection and reflection has begun in light of the events following the death of George Floyd. Many are confused. Many are afraid. Many are frozen and do not know what to do. How do you solve such a huge, intractable problem?
First we need to realize that this is a huge problem. It intersects economics and education and geography and culture and history and …. No one of us, no group of us, will solve this. We will need humility. You don’t have to solve everything. Not every battle is yours. Read 2 Chronicles 20:15-15.
“Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel son of Zechariah. He said, ‘Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.’’”
God has tried to develop a deep and loving relationship with humanity for millennia. Even 2,000 after God sent His Son, millions reject Him. Jesuit Father John Foley, S.J. writes that, God the Father invited people on earth to a lasting and loving relationship with him and with each other. “I want to be your God and I want you to be my people. My love for you is tender and precious. Won’t you love me in return?”
Some understood and entered into the agreement. Abraham, Isaac, Moses, Elijah, Elisha, ,just to begin the list. Others say “no.” Our refusal of God’s love became widespread. How did God react to such rejection?
The Feast of the Holy Trinity is a reminder that God is community. God also calls us into a relationship with that eternal community. We might encounter people who simply do not believe this. We don’t hate them for it. We reach out to them. We meet. We talk. We look for common ground. This is the foundation of Christian evangelization. Whether or not the other person believes, they have community with you. You have fellowship with the Trinity. Thus they indirectly have fellowship with the Trinity as well.
As we move forward to address racism and all of its related issues, we will encounter people who disagree with us, reject us, even fight us. We don’t hate them for it. We reach out to them. We meet. We talk. We look for common ground. This – too – is the foundation of Christian evangelization. Whether or not the other person believes, they have community with you. You have fellowship with the Trinity. Ask God to give you the grace to move the relationship further.
Finally, the Lord provides some initial a “first steps” that might help:
“Brothers and sisters …mend your ways, encourage one another, live in peace, Greet one another with a holy kiss.” God also provides a vision of the future. “…agree with one another.”
How do we know that we’re making progress? We will feel it: “…and the God of love and peace will be with you.” Why? Because in that moment, ”The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit will be with you all.”
In closing, I happened to come across the song below. It was inspired by today’s famous Gospel passage: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” The musical number was written by Sara Hart.