Correct Your Leaders But Avoid Disrespect

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I, the Lord make myself known to them in visions; I speak to them in dreams. Not so with my servant Moses; he is entrusted with all my house. With him, I speak face to face– not in riddles, and he beholds the form of the Lord. Why were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? (Numbers 12:6-8)*_

Along the journey to the Promised Land, Miriam and Aaron spoke certain uncharitable words against Moses. Avoid speaking ill of others. One great saint said: “If you have nothing good to say about someone, then be silent.”

The Eighth Commandment forbids bearing false witness against others. Even more, the scriptures say: “Touch not my anointed ones, do my prophets no harm!” (1 Chronicles 16:22). We respect our spiritual leaders not because of who they are but because of the office they occupy. Jesus was critical of the religious leaders of his time, yet He said: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach.” (Matthew 23:2-3)

When our spiritual leaders fail to act right, we must help them recognise their errors. We would disappoint God if we kept quiet. However, we must avoid questioning their spiritual authority. There is a difference between correcting a person and insulting them. Rather than give reasons for her disapproval of Moses’ marriage, Mariam and Aaron said: “Is Moses the only one who is hearing from God?” God heard this and proved to Mariam and Aaron that Moses had a special place in His heart.

Another important lesson we learn is never to glory in the downfall of those who offend us. Moses had every reason to celebrate Miriam’s leprosy but chose to ask God for forgiveness. “Heal her, O God, I beseech thee.” God heard the cry of Moses, and Miriam was restored to perfect afterwards.

Are you a leader who finds themselves at the receiving end of insults from your flock? Do not glory in their downfall. Pray for them. Whatever position you occupy today is not for your glorification; use your office to uplift the people.

After feeding the multitude, Jesus eventually gets the quiet time he sought to pray. The disciples were in danger due to the bad weather. Jesus knew what they were facing, and He went to them walking on the sea. Truly, God never abandons us when we are in trouble. Jesus walked on water to show them that no matter how tough life may be, no situation is greater than the power of God.

Peter wanted to be sure that it was Jesus and asked to come to Him on water, but the moment Peter considered the waves, he became overwhelmed with fear and started sinking. Refrain from thinking of your problems too much. Fix your gaze on Jesus, and you will walk by His grace on water; you will walk on top of your challenges with a smile, and nothing will bring you down.

Today we remember Saint Dominic, the founder of the Dominican Order. He was born in Caleruega, Spain, in 1170. His parents were members of the Spanish nobility and related to the ruling family. His father was Felix Guzman, the village’s royal warden: his mother, Bl. Joan of Aza was a holy woman in her own right. According to one legend, his mother made a pilgrimage to an abbey at Silos. It is known that Dominic was educated in Palencia, and he concentrated on theology and the arts. In 1191, a famine left many people desolate and homeless across Spain. Dominic sold everything he had, including his furniture and clothes and bought food for the poor. Dominic became famous as a result of his mercy and his work. Several other prominent religious figures of the time petitioned for Dominic to be a bishop. He refused at least three attempts at promotion, saying he would rather run away with nothing than become a bishop. Dominic remained steadfast in establishing an order dedicated to promoting morality and the expulsion of heresy.

Let us pray: Almighty and ever-living God, come to our aid when we face crises in life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

. Bible Study: Numbers 12:1-13, Ps. 51:3-7,12-13, Matthew 14:22-36).*

@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu


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