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Thursday, August 4, 2005

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St. John Vianney

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

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bitterness must go

"Because you were not faithful to Me in showing forth My sanctity before the Israelites, you shall not lead this community into the land I will give them." —Numbers 20:12

Moses was not faithful to the Lord in showing forth the Lord's sanctity when he brought forth water from the rock. Consequently, God told Moses he would not enter the Promised Land. Some people speculate that Moses should not have struck the rock twice or that he said the wrong thing to the people. The psalmist clarified this by observing that Moses' mistake was the "rash utterance" that "passed his lips" (Ps 106:33).

Because his spirit was embittered (Ps 106:33), Moses spoke this way. Therefore, Moses' bitterness deprived him of entering the Promised Land. Paul taught: "Do nothing to sadden the Holy Spirit with Whom you were sealed against the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness" (Eph 4:30-31). For husbands to love their wives, they must be especially careful to "avoid any bitterness toward them" (Col 3:19). The writer of Hebrews counseled: "See to it that no man falls away from the grace of God; that no bitter root springs up through which many may become defiled" (Heb 12:15). 

We must repent of bitterness now, go to Confession as soon as possible, forgive those who have hurt us, and ask God to heal us. Bitterness must go.

Prayer:  Father, uproot bitterness from the lives of thousands of people today.

Promise:  "I will entrust to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven." —Mt 16:19

Praise:  St. John Vianney spent at least eleven hours per day in the confessional bringing sinners back to God.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape The Necessity of Confession for Renewal on audio AV 70-1 or video V-70.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 8, 2005

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