People of Israel thank God for all he has done - Catholic Courier
(Courier illustration by Linda Jeanne Rivers) (Courier illustration by Linda Jeanne Rivers)

People of Israel thank God for all he has done

People of Israel thank God for all he has done
Bible Accent: Deuteronomy is part of the Pentateuch
Saint for Today: St. Anne Line

People of Israel thank God for all he has done

When the people of Israel were working as slaves in Egypt, God chose Moses to lead his people to freedom, but he journey to liberty was not without a struggle. The Israelites endured hardship, times of famine and extreme temperatures. And they often complained. Moses would bring their complaints before the Lord, and the Lord always provided for their needs. After wandering in the desert for 40 years, God told Moses “Go now and occupy the land I swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, I would give to them and their descendants.”
Along with the land, God gave Israel a set of laws he wanted them to live by. He also wanted them to show their gratitude by offering a sacrifice.
Speaking the words God gave him, Moses said, “Take some first fruits of the various products of the soil which you harvest from the land (and) go to the priest in office at that time. …The priest shall then receive the basket from you and shall set it in front of the altar of the Lord.”
The people did as Moses instructed them. When the time of first harvest came, they brought baskets of fruit and vegetables to the priest. When they did, they acknowledged all that God had done for them. They would say to the priests, “He (the Lord) brought us out of Egypt with his strong hand and outstretched arm, with terrifying power, with signs and wonders; and bringing us into this country, he gave us this land flowing with milk and honey. Therefore, I have now brought you the first fruits of the products of the soil which you, O Lord, have given me.”
A certain portion of the crops and any money made from their sales were set aside for the less fortunate members of Israel, so that “the alien, the orphan and the widow (may) eat their fill in your own community.”
Moses reminded the Israelites about God’s love, how he cared for them when they were homeless and how he will always watch over them. “Today you are making this agreement with the Lord: he is to be your God and you are to walk in his ways and observe his statutes, commandments and decrees, and to hearken to his voice. … He will then raise you high in praise and renown and glory above all other nations he has made.”
Deuteronomy 8, 26
1. How long did the Israelites wander in the desert?
2. Why did they have to set aside a portion of their crops and money?

Bible Accent: Deuteronomy is part of the Pentateuch

Deuteronomy is one of the first five books of the Old Testament that together are called the Pentateuch. These books record the lives of some of our most important religious ancestors, including Abraham, Moses and Jacob.
The manuscripts that were collected together when the Old Testament was first being compiled were written on fragile scrolls, and very few of them remain today. When new copies were needed, scribes would copy them by hand, a very time-consuming process. Although tradition says that Moses wrote the first five books, it is more likely that several scribes or historians of the time wrote down the events after they happened, so that the people would remember what God had done for them. Eventually the books from Genesis to Malachi were sorted according to categories, such as law, history and prophecy.
Because of the work of the ancient scribes, we have a Bible today, which has both a New Testament and an Old Testament, so that we can remember what God has done for us.

Saint for Today: St. Anne Line

Anne Line (d. 1601) and her brother were taken out of their father’s will when he found out they had become Catholic. She married a man who was also a convert, but he died a few years later. Anne was never in good health, but she decided to fight for the rights of fellow Catholics, who were being persecuted in her homeland of England. Father John Gerard, a Jesuit priest, established a safe house in London for clergy members. Anne took care of the house and the safety of its residents.
When the English government began to wonder if the dwelling was being used as a safe house for Catholics, a new house had to be found. When neighbors told the authorities that a Mass was being held in this house, Anne and several others were arrested. After a trial, Anne was sentenced to death.
We remember her as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales on Feb. 27.

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