The Early Life of Moses (Exodus 1:1-2:25)

The Early Life of Moses (Exodus 1:1-2:25)

After the death of Joseph, the descendants of Jacob – the Hebrews – grew in number in the land of Egypt. But the time came when a new Pharaoh began to rule Egypt, one who had not known Joseph. Fearing that the Hebrews had grown too powerful, he sentenced them to slavery. They were forced to do hard labour, working … Continue reading The Early Life of Moses (Exodus 1:1-2:25)

The Prayer of Habakkuk (Habakkuk 3:1-15)

The Prayer of Habakkuk (Habakkuk 3:1-15)

The Prayer of Habakkuk is a song that describes a grand vision of God, shining forth in glory upon a mountain. It refers back to the events of the Exodus – and points forward to the coming of the Messiah. The prayer, also known as the ‘Canticle of Habakkuk’, is now used as part of … Continue reading The Prayer of Habakkuk (Habakkuk 3:1-15)

Queen Esther protects the Jews (Esther 8:1-8)

Queen Esther protects the Jews (Esther 8:1-8)

The book of Esther tells the story of how Esther, the queen of Persia, bravely saved her fellow-Jews from certain death. It’s a tense political drama with a young woman as its central character. The book begins by explaining how the king of Persia, Ahasuerus, divorced his first wife. Afterwards, he ordered that a search … Continue reading Queen Esther protects the Jews (Esther 8:1-8)

The Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8)

The Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8)

The story of the Transfiguration of Christ is described in three of the gospels, as well as in the Second Letter of St Peter. (Matthew 17:1–8, Mark 9:2–8, Luke 9:28–36; 2 Peter 1:16-18). It describes how those closest to Christ got a glimpse of him in heavenly glory. Pope Francis picks up the story: “Taking … Continue reading The Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8)

Joseph is betrayed by his brothers (Genesis 37:1-36)

Joseph is betrayed by his brothers (Genesis 37:1-36)

The book of Genesis tells us that Jacob, the ancestor of the nation of Israel, had twelve sons in total. His favourite son was Joseph, the firstborn son of his beloved wife Rachel. However, the teenage Joseph was not popular with his other brothers. There were three reasons for this. Firstly, he used to report … Continue reading Joseph is betrayed by his brothers (Genesis 37:1-36)

The Flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15)

The Flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15)

The escape of the Holy Family from Israel into Egypt has long been a favourite subject in Christian art. The event was traditionally understood as one of the “seven sorrows” of the Virgin Mary, which explains why it became such a popular scene. Pope Benedict XVI explained the story this way: “The evangelist Matthew narrates … Continue reading The Flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15)