Daily readings are available here.
The episode from the Book of Numbers reports an experience of the Israelites from the desert. Journeying towards the Promised Land, people start losing courage, become inpatient and start to complain. Complaining results from lack of confidence. Everyone wants to be in the Promised Land and it is so hard to recognize the benefit of the desert experience and of waiting.
Jesus too only promised paradise after this life and not while on earth. Thus we should not surprised if things do not always go our way, or we need to accept desert as well. There was a lot of wisdom in the monks and hermits of the early Church who used to withdraw themselves to the desert, intentionally limiting material and and spiritual resources. That experience, period of reflection, and silence formed them to become more open for God.
This experience should be repeated by Christians every year during the Lenten season. Even more, we are “pushed” into this situation this year also by external factors that are outside of our control. Instead of lamenting for what is not available and trying to retain a bit of what we consider our “normal spiritual routine”, we should take a full advantage of what IS available in the desert, even if it means moving outside of our comfort zone and learning to use other resources of spiritual life: long forgotten gems of the tradition of the Church.
Our Holy Father, Pope Francis invited all of us to have hope and trust. Do we trust Christ, do we trust his vicar, do we trust our pastors, do we trust the wisdom and prudence of the Church… or do we trust just ourselves and our solutions?