Today’s Reading begins with Numbers 12, 1:

“Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses on the pretext
of the marriage he had contracted with a Cushite woman.
They complained, “Is it through Moses alone that the LORD speaks?
Does he not speak through us also?”

Today, Miriam and Aaron remind us of all those who’ve objected to God and The Church. They looked for a pretext, in this case, Moses’s inter-racial marriage, to think God has made them just as important as Moses.

There are modern parallels. In the more recent past, newer denominations seize pretexts to let themselves believe their man-made, and often government-sponsored, denominations are “just as good, if not better, than the Catholic’s”. In fact, Moses, and later, The Church, were specifically chosen to make God’s wishes known.

Those who object to the gifts God has given, then to Moses, and later to His Church, are envious because they, themselves, have not been chosen to speak for Him. Miriam and Aaron egotistically claimed to be “equal” with Moses. For several centuries, similar personalities claim that they and their organizations are equal, or superior, to The Church and Her clergy.

They make such claims because they need to be important. They are living, ongoing proof that self is an idol that many worship instead of God, The Loving Programmer.

It’s an easy trap into which to fall. We all must be careful, obedient, and remember our place.

God is historically very irate with people who get uppity. In the passages following that which began today’s column, He punished Miriam by giving her a bad case of leprosy, which Moses immediately asked Him to cure.

What did The Loving Programmer do to Martin, “Mr. Uppityness himself”, Luther, when he persisted in proclaiming that his denomination was superior to The Church that Christ built on St. Peter?

When Martin, “Mr. Uppityness himself”, Luther lay dying, he knew his time was running out. He called for a priest to hear his confession. He waited a couple of hours longer than he should have. There was some confusion about where he was, and the priest didn’t get there until after Luther’s soul had left its body.

One may assume that someone like Moses did not intercede by asking God to give the priest better directions. Or, one may assume that some such intercessor did, and the “bad” directions were, in the greater scheme of things, “good”.