Pope Paul VI to the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Michael Ramsey

"(B)y entering into our house, you are entering your own house, we are happy to open our door and heart to you." - Pope Paul VI to Dr Michael Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Eldad, Medad and separated brethren

Last Sunday's Old Testament reading was from the Book of Numbers.  It tells the story of Eldad and Medad who were among the Jews in the Sinai.  While 70 of their number went out to the tabernacle with Moses and there received the spirit from God and the commission to prophesy, Eldad and Medad stayed behind in the camp, separated, apart.

And yet, these separated brothers received the same spirit and began to prophesy.

Then the reading goes on,

So, when a young man quickly told Moses,
"Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp, "
Joshua, son of Nun, who from his youth had been Moses' aide, said,
"Moses, my lord, stop them."
But Moses answered him,
"Are you jealous for my sake?
Would that all the people of the LORD were prophets!
Would that the LORD might bestow his spirit on them all!"

I am not a biblical scholar, not even close.  Maybe I have made an error about this story; I need to read more.  

However, when this aloud at mass, I thought about those Christians, and the many men and women of God, who are separated, who are outside of Mother Church.  Many are prophesying and have not been blessed by the spirit of God.  Surely, however, a few have been like Eldad and Medad, prophesying and blessed, and these latter include many Anglicans.  I think of course about the Blessed Cardinal Newman, among others.

I am greatly pleased that the Church has not reacted like many have wished, like a modern Joshua, son of Nun in the story above.  Rather, the Church is looking for those separated twos, threes, and more, and finding them, is using Anglican Use, the Anglican Ordinariate, and its many other tools to bring them into the group.

I need to study more about these two – Eldad and Medad.  Please make suggestions to me in the comments.