Readings and Reflection for August 3 Tuesday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time


Moses is not like other prophets. Why then were you not afraid to speak
A reading from the Book of Numbers (Numbers 12:1-13)

In those days: Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married, for he had married a Cushite woman; and they said, “Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken through us also?” And the Lord heard it. Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all men that were on the face of the earth. And suddenly the Lord said to Moses and to Aaron and Miriam, “Come out, you three, to the tent of meeting.” And the three of them came out. And the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud, and stood at the door of the tent, and called Aaron and Miriam; and they both came forward. And he said, “Hear my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord make myself known to him in a vision, I speak with him in a dream. Not so with my servant Moses; he is entrusted with all my house. With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in dark speech; and he beholds the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them, and he departed; and when the cloud removed from over the tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, as white as snow. And Aaron turned towards Miriam, and behold, she was leprous. And Aaron said to Moses, “Oh, my lord, do not punish us because we have done foolishly and have sinned. Let her not be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he comes out of his mother’s womb.” And Moses cried to the Lord, “Heal her, O God, I beg you.”

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM  Ps 51:3-4.5-6ab.6cd—7.12-13 (R. see 3a)
R. Have mercy, O Lord, for we have sinned.

Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your merciful love;
according to your great compassion,
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me completely from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin. R.

My transgressions, truly I know them;
my sin is always before me.
Against you, you alone, have I sinned;
what is evil in your sight I have done. R.

R. Have mercy, O Lord, for we have sinned.

So you are just in your sentence,
without reproach in your judgement.
O see, in guilt I was born,
A sinner when my mother conceived me. R.

Create a pure heart for me, O God;
renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence;
take not your holy spirit from me. R.

Alleluia John 1:49b
Alleluia. Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel! Alleluia.

“Bid me come to you on the water”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 14:22-36)

[After the crowd ate and were satisfied.] Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds.  And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up into the hills by himself to pray.  When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was many furlongs distant from the land, beaten by the waves; for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. But immediately he spoke to them, saying, “Take heart, it is I; have no fear.” And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, bid me come to you on the water.”  He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus; but when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshipped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” And when they had crossed over they came to land at Gennesaret. And when the men of that place recognized him, they sent round to all that region and brought to him all that were sick, and begged him that they might only touch the fringe of his garment; and as many as touched it were made well.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection

Sickness cripples and disfigures us, rendering us uncomfortable and incapacitated. Seeing Miriam ravaged and blemished by disease, Moses cried out to God to restore her health (Numbers 12:11-13). Jesus came to restore the beauty of God’s creation by healing the sick. At Gennesaret they brought all who were sick to Jesus and he healed them (Matt 14:35-36). Beyond physical sickness, an emotional sickness that can destroy people is fear. When Jesus appeared in the fourth watch of the night, walking on the sea, his disciples were crippled by fear. Peter cried out in fear while walking on the sea towards Jesus. He doubted, became afraid, and then he began to sink. But Jesus rescued him. He heals our fears too.


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