Mass Readings: August 4

First: Numbers 20:1-13
Resp: Psalm 95:1-2,6-9
Gospel: Matthew 16:13-23
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

ROCK OF AGES

"Order the rock to yield its waters." –Numbers 20:8

The Israelites complained about not having water. Then "Moses struck the rock twice with his staff, and water gushed out in abundance for the community and their livestock to drink. But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 'Because you were not faithful to Me in showing forth My sanctity before the Israelites, you shall not lead this community into the land I will give them' " (Nm 20:11-12). What did Moses do wrong?

The psalmist comments: "They angered Him at the waters of Meribah, and Moses fared ill on their account, for they embittered his spirit, and the rash utterance passed his lips" (Ps 106:32-33). In a spirit of bitterness, Moses said the wrong thing.

Paul commented on this by noting a Jewish tradition that the Rock from Which the water flowed miraculously followed the Israelites through the desert (1 Cor 10:4). Paul came to the conclusion that "the Rock was Christ" (1 Cor 10:4). Therefore, Moses failed to show forth God's sanctity because he did not properly respond to Christ's grace.

What can stop you from entering the promised land of heaven? Learn from Moses. Repent of bitterness and rash words (Eph 4:31). Totally give your life to Jesus, the Rock.

PRAYER: Father, Your Son, Jesus, is the Way (Jn 14:6). May I follow the Way to everlasting life.
PROMISE: "I will entrust to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you declare bound on earth shall be bound in heaven; whatever you declare loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven." –Mt 16:19
PRAISE: St. John held fast to the call that God had placed upon his life despite formidable obstacles in his way.