Mass Readings: August 2

First: Sirach 24:1-4,16,22-24
Resp: Psalm 34:5,7,9-10,18-19
Second: Galatians 4:3-7
Gospel: Luke 1:26-33
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


"Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses." –Numbers 12:1

Moses, Aaron, and Miriam were the three main leaders of the Israelite community at the time of the Exodus. Aaron and Miriam became jealous of Moses' status as the main person to whom God spoke. They expressed their jealousy by speaking "against Moses on the pretext of the marriage he had contracted with a Cushite woman" (Nm 12:1). The Lord was so upset that He descended in a column of cloud and summoned Aaron and Miriam to rebuke them (Nm 12:5). "So angry was the Lord against them that when He departed, and the cloud withdrew from the tent, there was Miriam, a snow-white leper!" (Nm 12:9-10)

The Lord clearly hates jealousy, and, in particular, jealousy among leaders. Jealousy prompted the first murder (Gn 4:5), Jesus' crucifixion (Mt 27:18), and many persecutions (Acts 13:45). Jealousy, not doctrine, is one of the main reasons why the Church was and continues to be divided. When Christian leaders jealously oppose each other's ministries, Jesus said it would be better if the jealous person "be plunged in the sea with a great millstone fastened around his neck" (Mk 9:42).

"Spiritual jealousy" angers God. We must repent of this sin and resist this temptation.

PRAYER: Father, may I resist the temptation of jealousy to the point of shedding my blood if necessary (Heb 12:4).
PROMISE: "Every planting not put down by My heavenly Father will be uprooted." –Mt 15:13
PRAISE: St. Eusebius, a bishop, patiently endured exiles and persecutions for the love of the Gospel.