Today is Thursday the 5 August in the eighteenth week of Ordinary time.
The choir of Holy Sepulchre London, directed by Peter Asprey, sings ‘God Be in My Head’, by Peter Horton.
Today’s reading is from the Book of Numbers.
The Israelites, the whole congregation, came into the wilderness of Zin in the first month, and the people stayed in Kadesh. Miriam died there, and was buried there. Now there was no water for the congregation; so they gathered together against Moses and against Aaron. The people quarreled with Moses and said, "Would that we had died when our kindred died before the Lord! Why have you brought the assembly of the Lord into this wilderness for us and our livestock to die here? Why have you brought us up out of Egypt, to bring us to this wretched place? It is no place for grain, or figs, or vines, or pomegranates; and there is no water to drink." Then Moses and Aaron went away from the assembly to the entrance of the tent of meeting; they fell on their faces, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them. The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Take the staff, and assemble the congregation, you and your brother Aaron, and command the rock before their eyes to yield its water. Thus you shall bring water out of the rock for them; thus you shall provide drink for the congregation and their livestock. So Moses took the staff from before the Lord, as he had commanded him. Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, "Listen, you rebels, shall we bring water for you out of this rock?" Then Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his staff; water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their livestock drank.
‘Why have you brought us out of Egypt, to bring us to this wretched place?’ So, the people of Israel complain. It is hard for them to be in the desert; they begin to think they were better of as slaves in Egypt. They no longer see that God is with them. Is there some element of desert in your life at the moment? Do you sometimes feel that God has let you down?
‘It is no place for grain, or figs, or vines, or pomegranates; there is no water to drink’. Sometimes when we miss things in life, we may need to ask God for them. At other times we may simply need to appreciate more what we do have. What’s God’s invitation to you at this time in your life? Spend a moment thinking of some of the good things in your life.
As you listen to the reading again, notice the community dimension.... that this is not one person alone, but a community journeying together to a place where God desires them to be free. Perhaps this calls to mind the experiences of communities you belong to: family, friends, work, world....
God doesn’t want you to be without what you need today. Take time now to share with him what you most desire.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.