Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Dedication of a Basilica)
Numbers 13 : 1-2, 25 – Numbers 14 : 1, 26-30, 34-35
YHVH then spoke to Moses, saying, “Send men to explore the land of Canaan that I am giving to the Israelites; send one man from each of the ancestral tribes, all of them leaders.”
After forty days of exploration, they returned. They went and met Moses, Aaron and the whole community of Israelites in the wilderness of Paran at Kadesh. They gave an account to them and the whole community and showed them the fruit of this land.
And they said, “We entered the land where you sent us, truly a land flowing with milk and honey and here is the fruit. But how strong are the people who inhabit the land! The cities are fortified with walls and bars, and we even saw there descendants of the Anakites. Amalekites live in the region of the Negeb; Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; the Canaanites are by the sea and along the banks of the Jordan.”
Caleb then quieted the people who rose up against Moses and said, “We should go up and take over the land, for we shall surely overcome it.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We cannot advance against these people for they are stronger than we are.”
And they spread an unfavourable report about the land that they had explored, saying to the Israelites, “The land we went through to explore is a land that devours its inhabitants and all the people we saw there are men of great size. We even saw giants (these giants were the Anakites). We felt like grasshoppers before them, and to them we must have seemed the same.”
Then all the community broke out in loud cries and wept during the night. Then YHVH spoke to Moses and Aaron saying, “How long will this wicked community grumble against Me? I have heard the grumblings of the people of Israel against Me. Say to them : As truly as I live, it is YHVH who speaks, I will do to you what you have said in My hearing.”
“All of you of twenty years or more, numbered in the census, who grumbled against Me, your corpses will fall in the desert. You will not enter the land where I swore to settle you, except Caleb, son of Jephunneh and Joshua, son of Nun. According to the number of days spent in exploring the land – forty days, for every day a year – for forty years you shall bear the guilt of your sins and you shall know what it is to oppose Me.”
“I, YHVH, have spoken. Surely this is what I will do to this wicked community that has conspired against Me. In this wilderness they shall be destroyed and this is where they shall die.”
Alternative reading (Mass for Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major)
Revelations 21 : 1-5a
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth had passed away and no longer was there any sea. I saw the new Jerusalem, the Holy City coming down from God, out of heaven, adorned as a bride prepared for her husband.
A loud voice came from the throne, “Here is the dwelling of God among mortals : He will pitch His tent among them and they will be His people; He will be God-with-them. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There shall be no more death or mourning, crying out of pain, for the world that was has passed away.”
The One seated on the throne said, “See, I make all things new.”