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 1 –From Sin’s desert, the people reached Rephidim, Massah, Meribah… and once more complained asking Moses for bread… meat… water.

- God told Moses to go up to the mountain, to strike the rock with the staff  and to give water to the people. 17,5       

   - The real rock and water will be Jesus as he told to the lady of Samaria Jn.4,1-42 ; 1Cor.10.4. : Ps.94(95)

- After this miracle God told Moses, Aaron, Hur to go up on the mountain  and to pray for Joshua who must fight against the Amalekites 17,8-15

2 –With these few lines we understand that the complaintsthe unbelief of the people, will go on forever.

- The name Massah it means test, temptation.

- Meribah it means to quarrel, to protest.

3 – This aptitude of complaining started with Lucifer… Became the habit of the Israelites and… it is the norm of our time.

     - The war against Amalekites, (Arabic people) started with Joseph’s brothers  Gen.45,24.  And will go on from generation to generation. 17,15  because the Arabic people, want to control the roads and all the lucrative  business… from Egypt  to Palestine. 

4 – The short chapter 17,1-16  is teaching us many things like :

       Prayer… Who… How… Why…  to pray.  Ccc.2559-2758

       Miracles : Why there are and the meaning of miracles.

-The real  standardrock and watermiraclesis Jesus as

     John and Paul told us. 1Cor.10,4 ; Jn.4,1-42.

- But the Israelites and, perhaps many believers of our time, do not understand.

- So, we should not raise up swords… rifles… missiles against God or  brothers but, we should raise up our hands like Moses and Jesus on the cross  asking forgiveness for our sins and… lamentations. Ex.18,11 ; Jn.12,32

- The B. said that when the Messiah will come he will fight and destroy enemies

-The enemies that Jesus will destroy will be Devil, and sins… Not sinners.

      Jesus died for the salvation of sinners. Ez.33,11 ;  Lk.23,34.43.

- The weapons to use to fight evil are prayers, sacrifices, fasting.

5PRAYER  : In the B there are many prayers. Our Father. Ccc.2759-2865

- Moses’ prayed for the conversion of Pharaoh. Ex.8-10.

     To forgive the idolatry of the Israelites. Ex.32

     To free the people from the snakes. Nm.11,1-2 ; 21,4-9.

     To forgive and cure his sister Miriam. Nm.12,9-13.

    To forgive the people who did not trust in Moses. Nm.14.1-19.

    Asking God to free him from the duty of leading the Israelites. Nm.11,10-15

- Prayer is to talk with God face to face.  Ex.24,9-17 ; 33,7.23 ; 34,1-10.28-35

- We can pray with  words… songs… silence… crying… fasting…

6MIRACLES  : Moses , Prophets, Jesus operated many miracles.

- The Devil can do something strange that can surprise the people but  the miracles of Saints and Jesus and, Devil’s actions, are very different.

* Devil, real spiritual person, can speak strange languages….

      Manifest supernatural power….  He knew the identity of Jesus   and  he fought against him. Mt.8,29 ; Mk.5,7 ; Lk.8,28.

* The aim of Devil is to possess completely the persons  and to take them  to the second and eternal death. Satan has many names. Ccc.2851-2

* Devil is called : Satan. Lk.10,18   The malign Mt.13,19 ; Jn.17,15 .

      The enemy Mt.13,39.     Liar. Jn.8,44 .    Darkness. Lk.12,53.

      The Strong one. Jn.11,21. But he could never be the winner over Jesus.

       Jesus rejects all the Satan’s temptations. Mt.4.1-11.

       Jesus saw Satan falling from heaven. Lk.10,17.

       Jesus, the real God, will attract everything to him. Jn.12,31-32

7 – Moses, Prophets, Saints did some miracles after many prayers or using  external objects like the staff of Moses.

- On the contrary Jesus, could make any kind of miracle at any time  for the benefit of the people.

- He had power over body, spirit, nature. Mt.4,23-25 ; 8,23-34 ; Mk.6,45-52.

   - Jesus could do miracles just with one word or…  saliva or… after a short  prayer for helping the faith of those who were to be healed or… for his disciples. Jn.2,1-12.   Who is this man. Mk.1,27

8 – The word Miracles comes from  mirari = To astonish, doing amazing work.

    St. Matthew  calls them  thaumasia.Mt.21,15 

    St. John calls them  erga, external, visible, teaching signs that want to teach  something spiritual, invisible. 

- Jesus never did miracles for himself  but for the benefit of  others. 

    Leper Mk.1.40-45. Paralytic Mk.2,1-12. The deaf and dumb man.Mk.7,31-37

    To raise the daughter of Jairus. 5.21-43.   To expel demons. Mk.5,1-20.

     To improve faith and, to teach the people that  he was God.

      So it means that the reign of God was already present. Lk.11,20

- Those who did not believe were possessed by devil. Jn.8,43-44

    And could not be saved. Mt. 12,31.

- Jesus never did miracles for show. He forbade the people to talk.Mt.8,1-4

- Jesus did miracles for teaching…  healing…  expelling demons.1Jn,3,8

9Sickness, poverty, premature death… suffering of innocent babies… are not punishments from God but can be used by God for teaching  something good…  Or for asking to some person to offer their sufferings, to take part in a special way to the history of salvation.

10 – The dangerous sin, of our time is, to think that, Devil did not exist any  more so, it is not necessary to pray.. to be prudent.. to repent… to confess…

- So, terrorism.. fanaticism.. hedonism… corruption… any kind of complaining  against God, religion, moral… are telling us that… we are really completely  possessed and slaves of devil power.

-The stories that we are talking about, are teaching us how to fight against  this kind of slavery

- So, our Exodus, is only at the beginning and will be completed when…we will be docile to the teaching of the Holy Spirit  who is revealing us  the Redeemer and merciful Jesus. 


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