3rd August 2015: Monday 18th week in Ordinary Time

Number 11:4-15, Matt

Can we liken ourselves to the people of Israel? Maybe yes. The journey from slavery to the life of sin to freedom of right-living in God is often not easy. Sometime we dare to conclude that righteousness is utopic. Therefore, once the struggle with sin gets stronger we are often tempted to recall the psuedo- pleasures of living in sin at the expense of the fullness of life promised us in Christ Jesus. Our lives like the Way of the Cross is punctuated by moments that seem dark and we often forget that after the cross comes the crown

From the first reading, we come in contact with two specific characters that can aid our reflection today. First is the Israelite community in the desert. Consequent on the pains and hardship in the desert, they remembered the beauty of the days of slavery in Egypt. Their walk to freedom seem uncertain so they could not but think of Egypt and forget the promise of a land filled with milk and honey. For them God’ promise was unrealistic.

Second, our prayer of thanksgiving at difficult moments become answers to difficult situations. Jesus offered a prayer of thanksgiving for little bread they had and the bread became overwhelmingly enough for all to eat. If Jesus had listened to the request of the disciples he would have sent the crowds away. My dear. Friends, let us pray today for the capacity to make right judgement

The second character is Moses. At a point in time, he could no longer bear the cross or burden of leading a seemingly faithless people. He watched them complained and wished himself dead because he considered himself a failed leader. As priests and leaders at various levels namely our homes, school, societies and work places, etc, are we any different from Moses? Do we not at some moments complain and wish otherwise particularly at moments when things seem not to be working out as planned? The good news always is that at difficult moments like this when we turn to God he does not forsake us. Moses turned to God and God gave them manner to eat. From the gospel reading, Jesus leaves us a path to follow in difficult moments. First our challenges must push us to have care and concern for others

Our capacity to excel is found in the discipline of faith

Rev. Fr. Francis Igben

St. Joseph Catholic Church Oviri-Olomu

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