“Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eye was undimmed, and his vigor unabated.” (Deuteronomy 34:7)
In Sunday’s Gospel reading we encountered Moses at the Transfiguration of Jesus. We lasts saw him at the end of Deuteronomy. Moses, though quite advanced in years still possessed full strength and wisdom. He was still concerned for the children of Israel. He addressed them at length in order to reinforce the importance of God’s law, His concern for holiness and the need for obedience as they entered the long awaited Promised Land. Moses, like almost all of those who left Egypt was not permitted to enter the land. The Lord comforted him with a glimpse from Mt. Nebo. There He saw the fullness of God’s promise. As his life ended, he could rejoice in the assurance of God’s trustworthiness. Never once had God failed him or deserted him despite the sinful stubbornness of the people or his own hesitation and disobedience.
When Moses died he was buried in an unknown grave. No prophet like Moses ever arose in Israel again: he had known the Lord face to face; He spoke the law of God. As great as Moses was, he suffered the same limitation all humans do, our common lot. His work remains a testimony and example of faith in Yahweh remembered by all generations of believers. All Christians would all do well to recall his humility and self-doubt. The Lord can use us despite our weakness and imperfections or for that matter our age. In addition we should also recall Moses’ emphasis on God’s holiness, our need for personal obedience, and the importance of faith in God’s mercy and help in times of trouble. Our lives should be a testimony of faith as his was, worthy of emulation so that when we die, people will remember us not for our charisma, leadership skills, fame, celebrity, wealth or power but for our faithful and humble service to God.