Do you get to that place ever so often when you think to yourself, “Can anything else go wrong?” It may have crossed Moses and Aaron’s minds. Their beloved sister, Miriam, dies. And in the desert of Zin, not in the promised land, they bury her. Many know the sadness and grief at the loss of a loved one. To have to bury that loved one away from home, in a place hard to visit, brings yet another layer of grief. Undocumented immigrants know it well.
Imagine, then, how terrible it would feel, as a leader, to be grieving the death of your sister and have to then deal with this:
As the community had no water,they held a council against Moses and Aaron.The people contended with Moses, exclaiming,“Would that we too had perished with our kinsmen in the LORD’s presence!Why have you brought the LORD’s assembly into this desertwhere we and our livestock are dying?Why did you lead us out of Egypt,only to bring us to this wretched placewhich has neither grain nor figs nor vines nor pomegranates?Here there is not even water to drink!”
It seems there was little compassion for the holy brothers. Many of us at times feel like in our grief, no one understands us or has any compassion for us. And so what do we do in moments like these? Exactly what Moses and Aaron did.
“But Moses and Aaron went away from the assembly to the entrance of the meeting tent, where they fell prostrate.” In the meeting tent was the presence of the Lord, and it was to him they went. We do well to do the same. There may be no quick answers. The answers may not be the ones we want to hear. But when all seems lost and people seem downright disrespectful and mean, there is only One to whom we should go.
He said to them,“But who do you say that I am?”Simon Peter said in reply,“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you…”