Moses, the Pontiff said, became “the bearer of the divine words and commands for his people.” At the same time, he also prayed for the people of Israel, the Pope added.
The importance of intercessory prayer is abundantly evident, the Pope continued, when the people of Israel set up an idol, and Moses pleads with God for mercy upon them. “The intercessor does not make excuses for the sin of his people and does not list the presumed merits of either himself or his people,” the Holy Father noted. “He appeals to God’s generosity.”
In passing, Pope Benedict observed that the impulse of the Hebrews to build idols reflects “a constant temptation on the path of faith: avoiding the divine mystery by building a comprehensible god that corresponds to our own preconceptions and plans.”
Moses, who had “a concrete experience of the God of salvation,” recognized the gravity of his people’s offense. Yet his love for his own people is poured out in his appeal to God. Thus the Pope explained his intercessory prayer: “Moses, the intercessor, is the man between two loves that, in prayer, are superimposed in one single desire for the good.”