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Thursday, August 7, 1997

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Sts. Sixtus II & Companions
St. Cajetan

Numbers 20:1-13
Psalm 95
Matthew 16:13-23

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just add water

"As the community had no water, they held a council against Moses and Aaron. The people contended with Moses." —Numbers 20:2-3

A true sign of a lived-out baptism is submission to authority. A true sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit in a person's life is the humility to accept the order in the Church established by God (see Mt 16:18). The Holy Spirit works in order, harmony, and unity in His Church (see 1 Cor 14:33, 40; Eph 4:3ff).

However, Church history is full of incidents of rebellion against authority. Even God's plan for order in marriage and family life is often opposed, since marriages break up almost as often among Christians as they do among non-believers. Why does this happen among God's people, who have heard His plan for submission to authority? They contend, hold councils (Nm 20:2-3), and rebel against authority when they have no water. When the water of the Holy Spirit is missing, contention prevails.

What water will we give to those who are challenging us? We can be like Moses and angrily provide the waters of Meribah (Nm 20:13). This water temporarily satisfies and distracts the angry factions, also giving us a break from the heat of battle. Yet those who drink Meribah's water "grow thirsty again" and will come storming back to us for more (Jn 4:15). Conversely, we can be like Jesus. When someone challenged Him for water (Jn 4:11), He offered the living water of the Spirit (Jn 4:10, 14).

Prayer:  Jesus, when those who hurt me are thirsty, I will give them Your Spirit to drink (Rm 12:20).

Promise:  "On this rock I will build My church, and the jaws of death shall not prevail against it." —Mt 16:18

Praise:  Cajetan spent much of his ministry encouraging and training priests to be zealous for the Lord.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by one of our editors.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 1, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 4, 1997