Sunday, September 30, 2018

                       Readings:  Click here.

Today, in Mercy, our reading from the Book of Numbers reveals a very human moment between Joshua and Moses.

Moses is getting older. He realizes that the time is approaching for him to hand over the leadership of his people. God seems to realize that too.

The LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to Moses.
Taking some of the spirit that was on Moses,
the LORD bestowed it on the seventy elders;
and as the spirit came to rest on them, they prophesied.

Joshua, ever since his youth, has been aide to Moses. Moses is his hero – the one, who having spoken with God, led the People out of Egypt. Now Joshua sees other ordinary guys assuming some of Moses’s roles. Joshua feels his own security and comfort shifting beneath him, hints of a spiritual earthquake.

Number 11_29 Jealous for my sake

An outraged Joshua alerts Moses, begging him to stop these supposed imposters. But Moses assures Joshua with words no hero-worshipper ever wants to hear:

Are you jealous for my sake?
Would that all the people of the LORD were prophets!
Would that the LORD might bestow his spirit on them all!

What a powerful question Moses poses. It searches Joshua’s heart:


Are you jealous for my sake? 

Are you fearful, biased, closed-hearted,
and self-protective because you fear
that you and I will lose position and power?


Surely Moses senses Joshua emerging as the next leader of Israel — even though Joshua might not share that awareness yet. Moses wants him to see that it is the Spirit of God Who leads the People through any human means She wishes.

When we presume to control the Spirit, or think to invest Her power only in our own particular “heroes”, we close ourselves to the amazing, surprising power of God. This Divine Power cannot be controlled and, like wildflowers through concrete, will bloom where She chooses.

We see the fruits of such presumption all over our histories: the falsely assumed superiority of men over women, whiteness over color, wealth over labor, age over youth, or any form of dominance over mutuality. These assumptions become concretized in our culture, hardening us to the movements of the Spirit.

If we have any hold on privilege in our lives, we might be inclined to profit by these assumptions. It is just such an inclination that Moses nips in Joshua in this powerful exchange between revered teacher and apprentice.

Music: An oldie, but goodie. Always brings me a deep peace.  I hope it does the same for you, dear reader.

Come Holy Ghost – The Singing Nuns

2 thoughts on “Jealous for My Sake?

  1. Beautiful Renee! This flaw in our humanness is found even in the apostles in today’s gospel. It is a struggle! The Sisters beautiful rendition of Come Holy Ghost does put one in a peaceful place. God bless you,Renee!❤️🙏

    Liked by 1 person

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