Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Complainers and the Cure: Daily Mass Homily--Tuesday, March 24th, 2015
(Listen to this homily here).
Our first reading from Numbers records the wanderings of Israel for forty years in the desert. Over and over again they complain. Consider the example from today: “Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert, where there is no food or water? We are disgusted with this wretched food!”
The complainants grossly forgot some important details in their whining. Like the plagues. Or the crossing of the Red Sea. Or the manna which God was miraculously providing. And this food was wretched?! All that God did and the Israelites whined about being hungry?
Lest we judge—how often do we complain? Spiritually speaking we have everything we need to receive God’s grace. We have been baptized, confirmed and are fed with Jesus’ Body and Blood. Materially speaking, did you walk to a well with unclean water to drink this morning? Did you get to eat today? We are in a first world country—do we keep things in perspective?
Back to the Israelites—they were punished by serpents and many died. Yet the cause of the punishment became the cure: “Moses accordingly made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole, and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.”
And this is what Jesus did. The cause of calamity—the fall of humanity—became the cure in Jesus Christ. Like the bronze serpent, the Son of Man was lifted up for our salvation. What do we have to complain about?