Scripture: 1st Reading: Num12,1-13; Resp. Psalm: Ps51,3-7,12-13; Gosp. Accl.: Jn1,49; Gospel: Mt15,1-2,10-14
In the word of God today, we read that the hearts of Aaron and Miriam were turned against Moses, the servant of God. Both of them planned mutiny because Moses married a cushite woman. They lowered the respect of Moses in the sight of Israel. They talked ill of him.
What Miriam and Aaron forgot was the fact that there was no separation between Moses the man and Moses the servant of God. This was because Yahweh chose the man Moses and gave him the privilege of divine service. An attack on Moses would definitely harm the quality of the service he was called to render to Yahweh. Apart from this, the word of God described Moses as very meek, the humblest of all men on the face of the earth.
Fundamental to the rebellion of Aaron and Miriam was also the question of spiritual authority. The word of God today says that both Miriam and Aaron said: "Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken through us also?" Yahweh in response restored the honour of Moses before all Israel.
God told these two rebels that there was a difference between the way He spoke to other messengers of His and the way He spoke to Moses. With others, He spoke and made Himself known in visions and dreams. With Moses, He spoke mouth to mouth, clearly, not in dark speech because Moses beheld the form of the Lord. Yahweh then asked these two: "Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?"
By the time the Lord's presence left the Tent of Meeting that eventful day, Miriam had become a leper. This was a sign from God to all Israel to beware of running down the servants Yahweh had appointed and sent to them. Yahweh used this as both a warning and a sign that nothing said and done against His anointed servant who continually does His will and is always at his service doing what he is called to, will go unpunished. As it was then, so it is now.
The rebellion of Miriam and Aaron began in the heart. They conceived their evil plot against Moses in the secret recesses of their hearts. This is why our Lord warned us sternly today that what defiles a man is not what goes into a man but what comes out of him. This is because all types of terrible sins proceed from the heart of man. Our Lord said it was unnecessary to keep the tradition of the elders about external ritual washing and ablution before meals when the heart itself is full of sin and corruption. The heart is where the reform should begin from.
St. Dominic whose memorial occurs today understood the terrible effects of sin and error on the lives of believers. He espoused poverty, chastity and obedience as practical means of arriving at holiness of life. He stridently fought against errorneous teachings on the faith. He preached against the corruption of sin and its devastating effects on the Christian life of the faithful.
To collaborate in his vision, St. Dominic gathered around himself other priests who shared in his vision and with them founded the Order of Preachers later called the Dominicans, for the purpose of bringing the pure and true teachings of the gospel to the people of God. May he intercede for us.
Let us pray: "May Saint Dominic come to the help of your Church by his merits and teaching, O Lord, and may he, who was an outstanding preacher of your truth, be a devoted intercessor on our behalf." Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.