Song of Moses in Eternal Context

They were holding God’s harps, and they sang the song of Moses. (Revelation 15:2-3)

The chapters of the book of Revelation which precede the passage read at today’s Mass narrate the struggle between the evil forces marked with the sign of the beast and the chaste legions marked with the name of the Lamb. In these chapters, the last book of the Bible’s mystical account of the great drama of salvation nears its climax.

The Man comes around.

Now, when we keep the Vigil of Easter in the springtime, we generally sing a good number of psalms and canticles. But let’s just say we couldn’t sing all those psalms, for some reason. Let’s say we had to celebrate the Easter Vigil quickly, because we were on a battlefield, or in jail.

There is one of the Vigil canticles that we absolutely, positively have to sing, no matter what. Without this one particular Old Testament canticle, it is impossible to grasp the full meaning of the holy night of Easter.

Here’s a hint: Sing to the Lord! He has covered Himself in glory!

Who sang this? Moses and the people with him. They sang it because God had covered Himself in glory by doing what?

Casting Pharaoh’s horses and chariots into the sea. Delivering the Israelites from slavery. Leading them forward to the Promised Land.

The Sacred Scriptures make clear the full meaning of the ancient Passover of the Israelites. We read from the book of Revelation: The harpists standing on the sea of glass, who had won victory over the beast: They sang the song of Moses. Great and wonderful are your works, Lord God Almighty!

Faith turns the strife and drama of life on earth into a hopeful pilgrimage. Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us. He has risen and has ascended on high, to the pinnacle of the heavenly Mt. Zion. When Moses sang, he really sang about us; he sang about the chosen ones who believe in the victory of the Son of God. The Lord will deliver us from all evil, and the eternal Promised Land awaits. Therefore we keep the feast.

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One thought on “Song of Moses in Eternal Context

  1. Father Mark,

    Letting “The Man” tell it like it will be is a stroke of genius. The raspy, aging voice (not the young buck in the picture) of the spoken lead-in and followi-out speaks volumes.

    In a related song, “There’s A Man Going Round Taking Names” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGtWU3r-gdw , it’s interesting that most seems to know that Leadbelly sang it (among others, I thought I first heard it as part of the WPA recording of Woody Guthrie); but no one seems to know the origin, and it’s original meaning. As I first heard it, it was a private detective, taking the name of striking demonstrators at a factory for retribution by the Owners.

    I mention this, and call them similar, because it would seem that nobody seems to remember that “The Man”: is coming around again.

    In a similar reference, the glassy sea from Revelation. How many can stand the pain of “The Great Divorce”?

    In God we trust.

    LIH,

    joe

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