Parashat Pinchas – Erev Shabbat 15 July 2022 (5782)
Week of 10-16 July 2022
Torah portion: Num. 25:10-30:1 Haftarah: 1 Kings 18:46 19:21
Theme: our offering reflects the abundance and love of God
The events of the book of the Numbers or the “in the desert” take us to its semblance of the Pentecost event when a number of people received specific gifts that were granted by the Holy Spirit. Each one received according to his needs and each one is tasked with a specific mission, with a specific purpose. The calling of the specific names and the numbering of the people have a significant double meaning, that is: firstly, that the Lord loved them so much that he called out their personal names and that he remembers their identity. Secondly, it is to reprimand them for their wrongdoings. One can connect to the calling out of names taken from our reading, in the book of Numbers 27:18 that speaks of: “a man of spirit” that is interestingly comparable to the definition spoken by Pharaoh about his new-found servant Joseph in Genesis 41: 38 that says: “Could we find another like him, Pharaoh asked his servants, a man so endowed with the spirit of God?” during the great famine in Egypt who served as the main person to avert the effect of the famine in the land that lasted 7 long years.
We can be sure that Joshua also will be victorious in the task that was apportioned him by the Lord through Moses. For like his ancestor, Joseph, who had been victorious against the Egyptian famine, was called a man of spirit. Here we can notice that being ‘a man of spirit’ is something that originates from the Divine and is showered on people in order to act according to the original spirit given by the Divine. Tracing it to the days of creation when the Lord breathed into us his Spirit, we did share in the Divine part in us which was our very life. At some point humanity we lost this. So now the human being acts not in the same spirit that was given to him, but by a very odd spirit that originated from the ego of disobedience, sharing the sin of Eve and Adam causing us to destroy our very nature. And at some point, in life, this aggressive spirit of his led him to cause division and destruction among his peers and neighbors.
In continuation we can find it interesting to notice the specific numbering of the offerings. Kings 29: 12-30, indirectly highlights the abundance of the people of Israel flowing from their obedience to the Lord, revealing it through the numbers of offerings that they were going to offer. This truly shows how God showers on them his blessings due to their obedience to his ways that they have followed while carrying out their everyday lives. In the end our personal call, our task, our gifts will only be evaluated through our produce: its perfection shows how we have been blessed by the Lord through our obedience to his ways.
For Reflection and Discussion: 1. Do we have the courage to show how much the Lord showers on us his blessings, by offering him pure and abundant sacrifices? 2. Are we ready to proclaim how good God is? 3. Have we got the courage to proclaim the Gospel?
Bibliography: The Catholic Study Bible 3rd ed. New American Bible Revised Edition (2016) Oxford University Press
This week’s Parasha Commentary was prepared by
Jefferson Philip Jacob Reyes, Israel, Bat Kol alumnus: 2018