Saturday, September 22, 2012

Noah, Mary, the Catholic Church and Faith and Works

God told Noah to build an ark. God created ex nihilo (out of nothing); He could have created the ark out of nothing. God saves, utilizing His creation. The thought of building an ark might have, at first, seemed ridiculous to Noah. It is possible that he could have refused. God gave Noah the instructions, but Noah had to obey. Noah’s faith alone would not have built the ark that saved mankind and animals from the flood; it was through faith and works that the ark was built and Noah, his family, and the animals were saved.

Noah prefigures Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Virgin Mary’s Creator; nevertheless, He was not conceived by the Holy Spirit until her fiat. Because of Mary’s fiat, Jesus became incarnate and redeemed us. Because of her fiat, she became the ark, the Mother of the Church, and the Ark of the Covenant. Nevertheless, it was not faith alone: She had to be obedient to God’s law; she had to raise and teach Jesus when He was an infant and toddler.

The Catholic Church is the Jesus Christ that the world sees. This is true because we are His Body. There is no other denomination more hated and despised than the Catholic Church. Muslims hate and despise us; Protestants hate and despise us. This has to be since our Head, the Lord Jesus Christ, was hated and despised by Jews and Gentiles alike. We are the True Body of Christ; nevertheless, faith alone is not sufficient. How can we exist without good works?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Knowing the Cross I Must Bear

“And he called unto him the multitude with his disciples, and said unto them, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Mar 8:34 RV). My natural inclination is to put off hardships, to avoid them. Hence, if I am not careful, it could very well be that I am walking contrary to Christ. I must, therefore, know whether the hardship confronting me is the cross that I must take up. This cannot be something that is in me, for I have known to be wrong many; henceforth, it must come from outside of me—the teaching of the Catholic Church.

Once again, I must always remember that truth lies with the Catholic Church since it is the Body of Christ. Any hardship which I incur because I am walking with the teachings of the Church is a cross that I must pick up and carry. If I believe a teaching of the Catholic Church is erroneous, I have made myself the judge of the Church, made myself superior to the Church—and to Christ by virtue of the fact that He is the Head of the Church. If I am not careful and follow my own personal opinions which would be contrary to the Church, I would be trying to form Jesus Christ into an image that I have created, not liking the true Jesus Christ. I must place my trust in the Catholic Church, the Body of Jesus Christ, the likeness of Jesus Christ. How do I know the teaching of the Catholic Church? By reading the Catechism. It is only then that I know which cross I must bear.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Ninety Nine and the One

“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, and having lost one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he finds it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and his neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that even so there shall be joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine righteous persons, which need no repentance” (Lk 15:4-7, RV).

I am sure most of us have heard this parable. For many years, I believed the owner had a hundred sheep (Christians); one was lost and He went out to find it. What was troubling: He left the ninety nine. I thought, “Well, they did not go astray, so He left them. The more I heard about sheep, the more I came to understand that sheep are stupid and must have a shepherd.

Now, when I read this parable, two words stand out: “wilderness” and “repentance.” The “wilderness” associates this with the Church because it is the Church that goes through the “wilderness.” “Repentance” means that there are those in the Church who do not believe they are in need of repentance and some who knows they are in need of repentance. Another thing I notice is: “Now all the publicans and sinners were drawing near unto him for to hear him, and both the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, ‘This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them’” (Luk 15:1-2 RV). Jesus is speaking against the Pharisees and scribes because they were murmuring. We will readily admit that we sin and are in need of repentance. The ninety nine need no repentance; or, should I say, they did not think they had need of repentance. Because they felt they had no need to repent, the shepherd left to find the one that did need repentance.

The question I ask myself: Am I one of the ninety nine, or am I the one who needs repentance? Daily, I try to not sin; I attempt to keep the commandments at the forefront of my mind. I also realize that a righteous man sins seven times daily—the “seven times” meaning numerous times. This is extremely disturbing for, at the end of the day, when trying to confess my sins, I either can think of a few or none at all. This very well could be that I no longer am sensitive to some sins, having become calloused, or that I am so full of pride that I have become hard hearted with regard to some sins. At least, at a very minimum, I am able to confess that pride exists in me and that I am calloused to some sins, praying that the Holy Ghost gives me the grace to repent and to bring to remembrance my sins. Just as the twelve fell into periods of unbelief and sometimes had hardness of hearts. This applies to me also. At the time, more than likely I do not even realize I have fallen into unbelief or hardness of heart; but I do realize that it occurs because it happened to the disciples. Therefore, I need to remember to confess that daily, also at the Sacrament of Penance, and also ask our Blessed Mother and my patron saint to intercede for me and everyone else.  --TT

Monday, September 10, 2012

Is Jesus a Bad Farmer?

Most of us have heard the parable of the sower and the seed. Jesus said He was the sower. Does that make Him a haphazard, sloppy, farmer? Why would He be so careless as to throw seed where it has little chance of producing?

As a Protestant, I thought I was the good soil; that group over there was the wayside; that one, the rocky soil; and that one, the thorns and thistles. Now, as a Catholic, I see Christ making me the good soil by virtue of the Sacrament of Baptism; yet, due to my multitude of sins, I become the wayside sometimes, the rocky soil sometimes, and sometimes, the thorns and thistles.

In the Sacrament of Baptism, our sins are washed away; we become good soil. A farmer can plow a field, removing all the stones. The next year, when he re-plows that field, there are more stones. How do they get there? Every year, that farmer must remove stones from the same field. The same thing occurs in us. When we sin, stones show up in the soil. When we have difficulty with habitual sin, the soil becomes trodden, hardened. This is the wayside. Of course, the thorns and thistles are the cares of the world.

Our Lord tells us that the seed is the Word. When I hear Christ’s Word and have no understanding, it is because I have a hard heart. The Gospels often refer to the disciples’ unbelief and hardness of heart. I am no different. The prophet, Jeremiah, tells me, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is desperately sick: who can know it?” Nevertheless, I erroneously often believe I have a good heart.

Why does Christ sow His Word on the wayside? It is to bring me to repentance. When I do not understand God’s Word, it is not God’s fault; it is mine—because of my sins, my hardness of heart. Very often, I do not like what God’s Word says or the doctrines and teachings of the Church; therefore, I try to twist them to conform to my likes and beliefs. When this occurs, I do not like the true Jesus and am trying to conform Him to a Jesus I like. I am trying to become the potter and trying to make Him the clay. I must allow His Word and the doctrines and teachings of the Catholic Church to bring me to repentance, to the Sacrament of Penance, in order that the stones, thorns, and thistles may be removed, and the hard wayside either re-plowed or hoed, softened up. I must always be comparing my thoughts and desires with Scripture and the teachings and doctrines of the Catholic Church. Where else can I find Truth? Where else can I turn? Jesus is Truth; hence, the Catholic Church must be Truth since it is the Body of which He is the Head. --TT

Saturday, September 8, 2012

If You Don't Forgive Them, Blot My Name Our of Your Book?

It is my desire to be like Christ, to see Him, to not sin. Nevertheless, the greatest commandment is to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind, and the second is to love our neighbor as ourselves. Is it in me to love my neighbor as much as Moses? Moses had led Israel out of Egypt, to Mt. Sinai. He goes up the mountain to speak with God. While He is on the mountain, the Israelites get Aaron to mold a calf for them. God is angry, tells Moses to leave Him, that His wrath may run hot against them, that He may consume them. Moses go down, and then returns to God, confessing that Israel had committed a great sin, and then says, “Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin––and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written” (Exo 32:32 RV). Now, Moses begs this of God even after Israel had murmured against him. St. Paul confesses a similar thing: “For I could wish that I myself were anathema from Christ for my brethren’s sake, my kinsmen according to the flesh” (Rom 9:3 RV). It causes me to think of my family. Yes, I can pray that for them. God has given them to me that I might be their head. I am responsible for them, to lead and teach them.

I sit in our parish, watching people enter, kneel, and pray prior to Mass. My heart goes out to each and everyone. We are members of the same Body. “Oh, Lord, if You don’t take them, You can’t take me; we are of the same Body.” When our priests are celebrating the Mass, the bread he is offering is us also. Christ is the large host; we are the small hosts. Our priests are our shepherds; they desire that not one of us be lost. Can you not hear them pray in a similar fashion like Moses and St. Paul? Our Blessed Mother, who stands beneath our small crosses and intercedes for us, it would not surprise me if she prayed, before she was assumed into heaven, “If You don’t forgive the least of these my children, don’t take me.” Our Lord Himself, is that not the reason of His Incarnation, Passion, and death on the cross? And did He not rise for our justification? Only we must not be as the five foolish virgins. Let us watch, not only for ourselves but our brothers and sisters also.  --TT

The Response to "I am Blessed"

When I was working as a window clerk in Nashville, there were several people who would reply that they were blessed when I asked them how they were doing. That provoked my response: “In what way?” There would almost certainly be a moment of silence, and then the reply would almost always be, “Because I am alive; because I have my health.” If the reply was “I am alive,” I would ask, “Would you not be blessed if you were dead?” Similarly, if they stated they were blessed because they had their health, I would ask, “Would you not be blessed if you did not have good health?”

The response I never received was, “I am blessed because the Son of God, Jesus Christ, became incarnate, suffered, and died for me; I am blessed because I am baptized into Him.” All blessings are contingent upon what Jesus Christ did. Even those who reject Christ are blessed, although they do not realize it. Their biggest blessing is that, because of the love of God, they are given every opportunity to repent. As Catholics, we are blessed tremendously also in that we have the Church and the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist; we have all Truth. If we are in poor health, we can remain grateful because we know it is the providence of God, that it is for our good, not for our harm. May God continue to pour out His grace upon us in abundance through Jesus Christ, our Lord. --TT

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Impossibility/Possibility of Denying Myself

In the class presented by Fr. Doug on stewardship, we were reminded to deny ourselves. Two words haunted me: deny myself. What does that really entail? I have heard it often, but I had never pondered over it. I decided to look up the word “deny.” One definition under “deny” is: “(deny oneself) refrain from satisfying oneself.”

A little voice went off in my head, “No! Don’t agree to that!” Then came another voice, stronger, “What is right? What does God want?” Immediately, I realized the impossibility/possibility of denying myself. I realized that denying myself was an impossibility because it is ingrained in me to desire to satisfy myself. I also realize that all things are possible in Christ, Who strengthens me. Hence, it is time for prayer. Lord, this is impossible for me; but, by Your grace, I can progress towards accomplishing it. I also realized, “Is that not also one of the purposes of the Eucharist?”

Jesus continuously denied Himself. In the Eucharist, we eat Jesus Christ, body, blood, soul, and divinity, becoming what we eat. What did Jesus ever do for Himself? He did all for the Father and for us.  --TT

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Deborah! One of the greatest of all Judges.

The major judges can be very difficult. The question I keep asking myself is: Are some of the words superfluous? If so, which ones? Personally, I think every word in the original manuscripts is important; they are there for a reason. Therefore, I have missed a lot here; but it may aid others to input what I have missed.

“And the children of Israel again did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, when Ehud was dead. And the LORD sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, that reigned in Hazor; the captain of whose host was Sisera, which dwelt in Harosheth of the Gentiles” (Jdg 4:2 RV).

Because Israel again did what was evil, God sold them into the hand of Jabin (discerner, the wise), king of Canaan (merchant; trader; or that humbles and subdues), that reigned in Hazor (castle; fortified; enclosed court; hay). What I learn from this is, once again: In order to get His people to repent, God, who is wise and not desiring His people to perish, is going to humble them utilizing those who are nothing but hay and stubble. Without the grace of God, we do not have the strength to overcome those that reign in castles built of hay and stubble. Jabin’s captain was Sisera (battle array; servant of Ra). He dwelt in Harosheth (workmanship; nations) of the Gentiles.

Deborah (a bee—thinking of honey and honeycomb) was a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth (torches). When I come across women in the Old Testament, I attempt to find a connection to either our Blessed Mother or the Church. In this case, I can see both. With the word “torches,” I think of the fire that protected Israel at night during the Exodus. I also think of God as a consuming fire, bringing our dross to the surface in order they may be removed. This is also the Church and its doctrines. From the Catholic Church document, Domini Iesus, we read on the unicity and unity of the Church: “The Lord Jesus, the only Saviour, did not only establish a simple community of disciples, but constituted the Church as a salvific mystery: he himself is in the Church and the Church is in him (cf. Jn 15:1ff.; Gal 3:28; Eph 4:15-16; Acts 9:5). Therefore, the fullness of Christ's salvific mystery belongs also to the Church, inseparably united to her Lord. Indeed, Jesus Christ continues his presence and his work of salvation in the Church and by means of the Church (cf. Col 1:24-27), which is his body (cf. 1 Cor 12:12-13, 27;Col 1:18). And thus, just as the head and members of a living body, though not identical, are inseparable, so too Christ and the Church can neither be confused nor separated, and constitute a single or whole Christ . This same inseparability is also expressed in the New Testament by the analogy of the Church as the Bride of Christ (cf. 2 Cor 11:2;Eph 5:25-29; Rev 21:2,9).” Therefore, the Catholic Church is also the “torch” which brings our sins and wrongful thoughts to light that we may confess and renew our minds, correcting the conscience.

Deborah “judged Israel at that time.” The word used for “judge” is defined in Strong’s: “A primitive root; to judge, that is, pronounce sentence (for or against); by implication to vindicate or punish; by extension to govern…” Hence, we see clearly our Blessed Mother and the Catholic Church, the Body of Jesus Christ, and we see the power our Lord gave the Church to bind and loose. Also, while there remains a fear because of sin, we can eagerly look forward to the Second Coming because He is coming to vindicate us, i.e. to defend us, to justify us. In the meantime, we must die daily to self, persevering to the end. If we think we stand, take heed lest we fall. We will not fall as long as we adhere to the teachings of the Catholic Church, the Body of Christ.

“And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Beth–el in the hill country of Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment” (Jdg 4:5 RV). The phrase, “in the hill country,” catches my eye. This phrase is one of the reasons why the Church connects the Blessed Virgin to the Ark of the Covenant—of which I will not expound upon due to the length it would take. It also makes me think of Jerusalem and the Church. Whether they realize it or not all Protestants come to the Catholic Church for judgment because all the truths they do have come from the Catholic Church, of which they at one time were part of.

Deborah sent a [messenger—apostle] and called Barak (lightning), the son of Abinoam (father of beauty, father of kindness, father of pleasantness). In this I see that lightning, which we fear—Mt. Sinai—is from our God, Who is Love. Yet that lightning will lead us to repentance and the Father if we allow it.

Barak was called out of Kedesh-naphtali. Kedesh means “holy;” Naphtali, “struggles or fights.”

“Go and draw unto mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun.” Zebulun and Naphtali makes me thing of Matthew 4: “And leaving Nazareth, [Jesus] came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the borders of Zebulun and Naphtali: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, ‘The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, toward the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people which sat in darkness saw a great light, and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death, to them did light spring up” (Mat 4:16 RV).”

“And I will draw unto thee to the river Kishon Sisera, the captain of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his multitude; and I will deliver him into thine hand” (Jdg 4:7 RV). Kishon means “water course, torrent stream.” It causes me to think of the Red Sea and the Jordan River—Baptism. Notice the use of the word “draw” instead of “send.” This reminds me that God is constantly, continuously drawing us. Nevertheless, we must cooperate with His drawing. “And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, I will not go” (Jdg 4:8 RV). Let us not go anywhere with the Church, its teachings, and the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist.

“And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the LORD shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh” (Jdg 4:9 RV). The Blessed Virgin, by virtue of being the Mother of God, crushes the head of the serpent.

“Now Heber (alliance, associate; passing over), the Kenite (smiths), had severed himself from the Kenites, even from the children of Hobab (beloved), the brother in law of Moses, and had pitched his tent as far as the oak in Zaanannim (alliance, associate; passing over), which is by Kedesh. (Jdg 4:11 RV). There was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite.

“Sisera fled away on his feet to the tent of Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite: for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said unto him, Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; fear not. And he turned in unto her into the tent, and she covered him with a rug. And he said unto her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water to drink; for I am thirsty. And she opened a bottle of milk, and gave him drink, and covered him. And he said unto her, Stand in the door of the tent, and it shall be, when any man doth come and inquire of thee, and say, Is there any man here? that thou shalt say, No. Then Jael Heber’s wife took a tent–pin, and took a hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the pin into his temples, and it pierced through into the ground; for he was in a deep sleep; so he swooned and died. And, behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said unto him, Come, and I will shew thee the man whom thou seekest. And he came unto her; and, behold, Sisera lay dead, and the tent–pin was in his temples” (Jdg 4:17-22 RV).

It is difficult for me to understand what this represents. All of the Old Testament is about Jesus Christ. Jael means “mountain goat; he that ascends.” Mankind, by virtue of original sin, Adam’s disobedience, made an alliance with Satan. Jael was the wife of Heber (alliance). She took a hammer and a tent pin (nail?), and drove it through Sisera’s temple. The Jews turned our Lord over to the Romans to be crucified. They put a robe upon Him and a crown of thorns. They, then, pierced His hands and feet and crucified Him. Although they did it out of hatred, God made it unto our salvation.

I will not go into Deborah’s Song. Someday I may come back to it.

And the land rested forty years.

In summary, we see God's providence at work, how He works in various ways, to secure our salvation. He gives us the Church to save us and keep us secure--only if we cooperate with it, recognizing that Christ has given the Catholic Church all truth, and we must renew our minds.  --TT

Who was Shamgar in Judges?

“And after [Ehud] was Shamgar (sword) the son of Anath (answer), which smote of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad (sometimes ten feet long, with a pointed end): and he also saved Israel” (Jdg 3:31 RV). Although this is essentially all that is said of Shamgar, there is a major significant point here: The answer to our prayer for salvation is Jesus Christ crucified and pierced with a spear. By His crucifixion, He saves us; by His Word, the double-edged sword, He sanctifies us and guides us. It is also noticeable that nothing is mentioned regarding the land having rest after Shamgar.

After the author mentions Shamgar, he then says, “And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD, when Ehud was dead.” It very well could be that Ehud had died prior to Shamgar slaying the six hundred Philistines, and it is mentioned here because Ehud was a major judge and Shamgar, a minor. It could also be that Shamgar killed the six hundred Philistines prior to Ehud dying. The problem with that is: If the land was at rest, why did Shamgar war against the Philistines? A third possibility is that they were contemporaries. Ehud fought against Moab, located to the east of the Promised Land. Shamgar fought against the Philistines, on the west side. When the two are put together, we have Jesus, the Son of God, wholly God and wholly man, crucified, which His redemptive work is the wisdom of God. Christ is the Judge; and, here, He vindicates His people by warring against their enemies, i.e. Satan and the world's ways.  --TT

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Ehud and the Last Day

In the book of Judges, After the death of Othniel, Israel fell into sin. Utilizing the pagan nations He had left in the Land to test Israel, God strengthened Eglon (heifer, chariot, round), the king of Moab (the seed of the father). Eglon gathered unto him the children of Ammon (sons of renown, son of my people) and Amalek (dweller in a valley). God did this because Israel had done what was evil in His sight. Nevertheless, this was not for their demise, but for their repentance. When the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, He raised them up a savior, Ehud (union), son of Gera (a grain, pilgrimage, combat; dispute), the Benjamite (son of my right hand).

Now, Israel served Moab eighteen years. In the New Testament we also have reference to “eighteen years.” In Luke 13, we find: “And behold, a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years; and she was bowed together, and could in no wise lift herself up. And when Jesus saw her, he called her, and said to her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.” This was the state of Israel at the time of Ehud.

In Eglon we see the world, its power and influence. In Eglon we also see the influence of Satan. Contrary to Moab and its confederates, Israel is now weak, without strength. In their weakness, they cry out in repentance (the Sacraments of Baptism and Penance). In our weakness, Christ is strong. At the repentance of Israel, God raised up for them a savior, Ehud, the son of Gera, the Benjamite. “Ehud” means “union.” In Jesus there is “union.” He is united with the Father; He is united with mankind, through His Incarnation. Ehud is the son of Gera, the Benjamite. Recall that “Benjamin” means “son of my right hand,” and that points to Jesus. “Gera” means “a grain, pilgrimage, combat; dispute.” For our passage, “combat” probably fits best. Putting all the words together, we basically have Ehud, united with the power of God.

“But when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised them up a savior, Ehud the son of Gera, the Benjamite, a man lefthanded: and the children of Israel sent a present by him unto Eglon the king of Moab. And Ehud made him a sword which had two edges, of a cubit length; and he girded it under his raiment upon his right thigh. And he offered the present unto Eglon king of Moab: now Eglon was a very fat man. And when he had made an end of offering the present, he sent away the people that bare the present. But he himself turned back from the quarries that were by Gilgal, and said, I have a secret errand unto thee, O king. And he said, Keep silence. And all that stood by him went out from him. And Ehud came unto him; and he was sitting by himself alone in his summer parlour. And Ehud said, I have a message from God unto thee. And he arose out of his seat. And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the sword from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly: and the haft also went in after the blade; and the fat closed upon the blade, for he drew not the sword out of his belly; and it came out behind. Then Ehud went forth into the porch, and shut the doors of the parlor upon him, and locked them. Now when he was gone out, his servants came; and they saw, and, behold, the doors of the parlor were locked; and they said, Surely he covereth his feet in his summer chamber. And they tarried till they were ashamed: and, behold, he opened not the doors of the parlor; therefore they took the key, and opened them: and, behold, their lord was fallen down dead on the earth. And Ehud escaped while they tarried, and passed beyond the quarries, and escaped unto Seirah. And it came to pass, when he was come, that he blew a trumpet in the hill country of Ephraim, and the children of Israel went down with him from the hill country, and he before them. And he said unto them, Follow after me: for the LORD hath delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand. And they went down after him, and took the fords of Jordan against the Moabites, and suffered not a man to pass over. And they smote of Moab at that time about ten thousand men, every lusty man, and every man of valour; and there escaped not a man. So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land had rest fourscore years” (Jdg 3:15-30 RV).

Of course, Jesus does not deceive; however, St. Paul informs us, “We speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, even the wisdom that hath been hidden, which God foreordained before the worlds unto our glory: which none of the rulers of this world knoweth: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1Co 2:7-8 RV).

Ehud made for himself a sword with two edges, and we know that the Word of God is a double-edged sword. Ehud used this double-edged sword to kill wickedness. The Word of God kills. It kills to give Life, or it kills both body and soul. The sword was not removed; neither is God’s Word removed from within us. We can either submit to it or rebel against it. In either case, the Word still remains within us. Ehud blew a trumpet in the hill country. “The hill country” brings to remembrance of the fact that our Blessed Mother went with haste into the hill country; therefore, the Church comes into play here. The blowing of the trumpet makes me think of the Last Day when the trumpet will blow and we go to meet our Lord. As we see in our passage, it is not a Day to be feared but the Day we can look forward to with eagerness and rejoicing. Can we not hear our Lord, our Savior, exclaiming, “Follow after me; your enemies have been delivered into your hands.” Nevertheless, the victory belongs to the Lord; He did all the work. Though He is all powerful, He yearns to exalt us, while we yearn to exalt Him. With Othniel, the land rested forty years; here, the land rested twice that time, perhaps connoting eternity. --TT

For more on Othniel see: