This is derived from Tuesday’s, 7 Apr, daily readings.
In the OT reading, the Israelites just acted naturally. They were tired, thirsty, and tired of the “same old food.” Therefore, they complained. They were not happy. they did not realize, probably, that they were complaining against God. As with us, their minds deceived them. They began to think that slavery in Egypt wasn’t all that bad. We do the same when we think of the “good ole days.” It is just natural–natural that we travel down memory lane. Actually, if we were to relive the “good ole days,” we would find that they were not that good. Living naturally can be also be extremely dangerous.
Israel should have remembered that it was God who had Moses lead them out of slavery and out of Egypt. They should have remembered God’s promise of taking them to the Promised Land, a land of “milk and honey.” Had they remembered that, they might have known that God did not deliver them in order that they might die in the desert, that no matter how tired, hungry, or thirsty they were, God was going to keep His promise.
Now, if we were able to have a conversation with them, perhaps it might go something like this: “Did you not know that God appointed Moses as your leader?” “Oh, no, we just saw him as a self-appointed leader.” “What about the miracles?” “Well, we thought God was on his side then, and also when things were going good; but now things are not so good; maybe, God isn’t pleased with Moses now.” “Did you not know you were complaining against God and Moses?” “Oh, no, we were complaining about Moses, not God.” They did not realize that God was testing them, testing their faith. God was so displeased that He sent the serpents.
Now that Jesus has come, died for us, and risen from the dead, things are different, correct? No. Look at the book of Revelation. The apostle, John, wrote this book to the seven churches in order that they might endure and persevere through the extremely difficult time they were entering into or had already entered into. It was also written to us for that purpose. What happened to the apostles? Recall the martyrs.
When we complain about the catholic Church, our bishops, priests, we are also complaining against God, Who appointed them. It is important for us to remember that everything that comes to us, every obstacle, is somehow put before us by God, ultimately for our salvation and sanctification. This is one reason why we need to pray–before things happen–asking for help from Christ, the Holy Spirit, our Blessed Mother, the Saints, and the Church militant. asking them to intercede for us, to keep us in remembrance of the Word and teaching of the Catholic Church. This is the reason we keep close to the Sacraments.
Doing what comes natural has another disastrous effect: “Jesus said, ‘You belong to what is below; I belong to what is above. You belong to this world, but I do not belong to this world’.” The Pharisees did what came natural; Jesus kept His mind on what is above. “O LORD, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to you. Hide not your face from me in the day of my distress. Incline your ear to me; in the day when I call, answer me speedily…The LORD looked down from His holy height, from heaven He beheld the earth, to hear the groaning of the prisoners, to release those doomed to die’.”
“Then the people came to Moses and said, ‘We have sinned in complaining against the LORD and you. Pray the LORD to take the serpents away from us’.” So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM, and that I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me. The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone because I always do what is pleasing to Him.” Jesus has not left us alone; He left us the Catholic Church–of which He is the Head.