Today’s first reading from Numbers illustrates a truth that most everyone has experienced: it’s easy to forget the good of the past when you’re facing the frustration of the present!
For those of us who are simply reading about the people of Israel, it seems natural to question how they could start complaining against God. Just a couple of books earlier, in Exodus, the Lord had performed miracles against their oppressors in the form of ten plagues against the Egyptians.
He had made the people of Egypt favorable to the point of them giving the Israelites their treasures as they left. He led them—in a pillar of fire!—through the Red Sea, which He closed upon the soldiers who pursued them when Pharaoh realized what he had done
When the Israelites didn’t have enough to eat, the Lord provided manna from heaven and water from rock. In return the people chosen by God as His own began to complain ‘we are disgusted with this wretched food!’.
￼How do we respond to suffering, to the occasion of
joining our cross with that of Christ? Even as we ask for relief, may we pray for the grace to offering our suffering with Christ’s—that He may use it to bring grace to the world.