Mass Readings: August 1

First: Numbers 11:4-15
Resp: Psalm 81:12-17
Gospel: Matthew 14:13-21
Reprinted from Presentation Ministries, a lay association of the Catholic Church that focuses on evangelization and discipleship through Bible teaching, daily Mass, the charisms of the Holy Spirit, and Small Christian Community.


"Moses asked the Lord, 'Why are You so displeased with me that You burden me with all this people?' " –Numbers 11:11

Moses' ministry to the Israelites eventually became so burdensome that he asked God to do him the favor of killing him at once (Nm 11:15). Has your service in the church ever been so burdensome that you'd just as soon die?

Moses was exasperated because the people thought "the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic" more important than their God-given freedom (Nm 11:5). You may be exasperated because the parishioners think bingo, sports, fund-raisers, and socials more important than personal commitment to Jesus.

You are at a point where you will either harden your heart against the people in your parish or receive a miraculous outpouring of unconditional love for the members of your parish. Jesus loved the Church so much He gave His life for her (Eph 5:25). As Jesus' followers, we must accept the grace to do the same. Even if rejected, persecuted, and crucified by the members of the Church, by God's grace we will love the Church. We will forgive our fellow parishioners and lovingly embrace them even if they are not only our brothers and sisters, but also our enemies. Love the Church as Christ loves the Church.

PRAYER: Father, make my love for the Church humanly unexplainable.
PROMISE: "People brought [Jesus] all the afflicted, with the plea that He let them do no more than touch the tassel of His cloak. As many as touched it were fully restored to health." –Mt 14:35-36
PRAISE: St. Alphonsus gave up his law practice to become a priest. In his priestly ministry, at the age of twenty-seven, he fought heresy with simplicity and kindness.