Greetings on this the Tuesday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: Nm 12:1-13; PS 51:3-4, 5-6ab, 6cd-7, 12-13; Mt 14:22-36
Notes: There was a grandson that so wanted to be just like his grandfather. Each year his grandfather would walk across the lake! When his birthday came and he gathered the courage he was determined to walk across the lake too. Quickly, however, he sank in the water and nearly drowned.
Grandpa! Why can’t I walk across the lake like you on my birthday?
Grandpa replied, “Because my birthday is in January.”
- Some things we can do because of natural talent.
- Some things we can do by training and wisdom.
- And there are some things that can only be done because you have been anointed by the Lord.
The Sacramental gifts (Seven Sacraments) of the Lord are given through and with the person given the anointing even if in special circumstances the Sacrament is administered by another. The power is always from the Lord. The gift is always both from the Lord and the minister.
We should be grateful and not jealous.
Miriam and Aaron … complained, “Is it through Moses alone that the LORD speaks?
Does he not speak through us also?”
Now, Moses himself was by far the meekest man on the face of the earth.
Moses did not see the power within him as projections of himself. Simply as the Lord’s servant.
Moses was not sinless. But we use the expression ex opera operato means, “from the work worked”. It is the power of the Lord that Moses acts efficaciously.
That does not make the gifts are extraneous to Moses!
It means the gifts, mingled within the person of Moses (remember the veil) are given in part, as part, of the changed person Moses has become – even if he was not in a state of grace himself on occasion.
Moses is a part of the gift.
Miriam’s jealousy sin became leprous to her.
Moses, reflecting the mercy of God, cried to the LORD, “Please, not this! Pray, heal her!”
Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Rabbi, you are the Son of God;
you are the King of Israel.
When I was preaching this past Sunday about treating the priest as a Pez dispenser. Do you remember those? Tilt the head back and get a sugar brick to munch on. It is tempting, even contemptuous, to see the priest as merely a man and a Pez dispenser.
The temptation for those around Jesus and those around Moses is to see their anointing and commission to be extraneous to them. An external useful tool and not as a part of the person administering the gift.
The gift of healing or the gift Eucharist and the other Sacraments are not extraneous to the Minister. Because they have ordered their lives to the Lord and by decision of the Lord have been permanently reconfigured to serve His will and His people.
A part of the minister is given with each divine gift so profound the Lord’s desire to have us share in his salvific work, ex opera operato, in the mystery of the Communion of Saints, during the Sacramental action.
Don’t be apart from the Eucharist that is Jesus, be a part of him in the mystical body.
Peace be with you,