Today’s Thoughts: Today’s readings (Numbers 21: 4-9 and John 8: 21-30) ask us to look at the nature and the power of our sin in our life. It is only when we do this that we can be healed from sin and its effects in our lives and our world.
In the first reading we have the familiar story of the people of the Exodus grumbling and complaining as they wander through the desert. This grumbling comes from the very people that God rescued from horrific oppression in Egypt, under a Pharaoh who consumed their lives to feed his false god persona, is grossly ungrateful. Not only had God rescued them from slavery but God also provided food to eat and a fresh stream of pure water to drink, (from a rock no less). God is taking them to a land “flowing with milk and honey” where they will be God’s people, protected and loved.
However, they are a whining group, who can’t seem to see their own dependence upon God and the need to be grateful for all that God has done for them. Their sin of ingratitude is as twisting and venomous as a poison snake which kills with its bite, but it can’t be recognized until it is lifted up on a pole and each person has to look at it and see his or her own darkness of heart to be “cured” of its effect.
In John’s Gospel, the serpent on a stick becomes an image for Jesus’ crucifixion. When, battered and bleeding, he is “lifted up” in front of us. It then becomes possible for us thankless sinners to see, to know, to recognize, and to understand, through God’s grace, the nature and cost of our sin for ourselves, our world and to our loving God. Jesus took our sin into his own human personhood in order to put it to death and be the instrument for our release from the sin that condemned him and all its death-dealing consequences.
Our challenge today and always as we live our lives in the pursuit the life of grace is each day to stand before the cross and ask Jesus three questions: “What have I done for you? What am I now doing for you? What can I do for you?”
Have a blessed Tuesday everyone!
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...