The Roman Catholic Church in The Bahamas is part of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope. The diocese was elevated to a full diocese, as the diocese of Nassau in June 1960. On June 22nd, 1999, the diocese was again elevated as the new Archdiocese of Nassau.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Be merciful, O Lord, for I have sinned

Today's first reading comes to us from Nm 12:1-13 where we are told the story of Moses, Aaron and Miriam. Tempers flare as Moses' siblings speak against him, questioning whether God only speaks through Moses. Oh how we've heard similar stories amongst our own family members, especially where there are more than two in the household.
Moses had such a special relationship with God that even his own flesh and blood took offense that he was getting all of the attention as they too felt worthy of the same status. You would think that as sisters and brothers this would not happen, however, nothing has changed since 1400BC (if anything it's gotten a little more exaggerated). Couldn't they have just been happy and supportive of his Spiritual connection to the Father?
All around us we encounter disintegration amongst families. Siblings quarrel about being the oldest or the youngest thereby expecting preferential treatment from their parents and recognition for being such. There are also the families whose children are of different social and economic circumstances where one looks down on the other or resents the other for their accomplishments.

Viewing Tyler Perry's latest movie, "Big Happy Family" we clearly can see the social behavior amongst family of different backgrounds. While there were siblings in the movie who did not get along with one another, there was an older sister who always tried to keep the family together when conflicts arose. Similarly we see Moses in today's reading humbly requesting the Lord to take away the charge of sin that was afflicted on his sister Miriam for her remarks regarding his authority. Moses could easily have said: "you made your bed, now you must lie in it".

Further we can gather from the reading the desire for recognition and designation of title that has become the expected in society today. Miriam being the sister of Moses thought that she too should be given the authority to have the Lord speak through her. In our work places we see employees taking offense when someone is promoted to a higher pay grade than themselves, rather than celebrating that persons accomplishments. This can also be problematic with members of the religious community of all denominations (not pointing fingers at any particular group) who allow the position they are placed in overshadow the work that they were "called" to do. We have all come across someone who is engulfed in the said title of their work that it almost feels that it is daunting to even approach that person.

Let's try and emulate the response of Moses for conflict resolution even if we believe that the result of someones actions was warranted (who are we to judge). Ownership of title is no stranger to those in the Bible as we see also in Mark 9:33-34. Jesus asks the disciples what they were arguing about; they ask him immediately which of them were the greatest. Humility can be a very difficult attribute for many especially when you are placed in a position of authority. The story of Moses and his siblings can be a lesson for all of us.

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