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It’s an extreme example and, therefore, perhaps not the most applicable, but this is why esprit de corps is so important. And, yes, the sin of Moses has perplexed more than a few folks over the years.

At Thursday’s daily Mass (Thursday of the 18th week of the year) we read of the sin that excluded Moses from leading the people to the Promised Land. While there are some mysterious elements to it, one thing seems clear: the grumbling of the people got on Moses’ nerves. Indeed, grumbling often affects more than just the one doing the complaining. Through it, infectious negativity can be set loose. Even if only a small number are grousing, it can still incite discontent, anger, and/or fear in others. Yes, the people nearly wore him out. At a particularly low moment, when the people were complaining about the food, Moses lamented to God,

Why have you dealt ill with your servant? And why have I not found favor in your sight, that you lay the burden of all this people on me? Did I conceive all this people? Did I give them birth, that you should say to me, “Carry them in your bosom, as a nurse carries a nursing child,” to the land that you swore to give their fathers? … I am not able to carry all this people alone; the burden is too heavy for me. If you will treat me like this, kill me at once, if I find favor in your sight, that I may not see my wretchedness (Numbers 11:11-12, 14-15).

Moses was so dispirited that he preferred to die rather than continue on in this way. In his weariness, he spoke rashly, and God excluded him from leading the people into the Promised Land:

And, this applies far beyond (or below) speaking rashly to the Lord.

Moses was worn down by the constant grumbling of the people. Be cognizant of the toll that such behavior takes on others. Practice gratitude, an important antidote to the poison spread by grumbling.

My own natural realism is sometimes mistaken for pessimism. It isn’t. However, as I’ve noticed via PPN, a little joy or boost to the presentation does good for the common spirit. Does it change reality? No, of course not. It don’t hurt none either!