An Altar Is Raised

Jacob came safely to the city of Shechem. . .. He bought for a hundred pieces of money the piece of land on which he had pitched his tent. There he erected an altar.
GENESIS 33:18-20
An Altar Is Raised
Jacob, accordingly, on receiving consolation is safe and sound and freed from the terrors of death, and after the pain from his dislocated thigh has subsided, he raises an altar that he may give thanks to God for this restitution of his health. For he sets up the altar that the Word might be taught, that invocation, giving of thanks, and other acts of divine worship might be made there. For when Holy Scripture says that altars were raised, it is just as if it were saying that schools or churches were established where sacred things which belong to the worship of God might be administered. The altars were not erected in the interest of showing spectacles and processions, nor for the sacrifices of Masses, but for the preaching of the Word. In this way, then, Jacob is described as of a tranquil and joyful heart after his liberation. However, in his happiness, he does not forget God, his Liberator, but he erects an altar, he teaches his children, he rules his household and church, and exhorts them to invocation and thanksgiving.
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