Jesus said to them,
“When you lift up the Son of Man,
then you will realize that I AM.” (Jn 8:28a)
Today’s first reading reflected upon the sinfulness of the children of God as they wondered the desert in search of the Promised Land. Even though God had set them free from the bond of slavery in the land of Egypt and led them with great signs and awesome powers, their patience was pushed to the limit as they saw no end in sight to their travel. They complained mightily to Moses and to God.
In response, seraph serpents began to strike them, with lethal results.
Realizing that they incurred the serpents because of their sin, they begged Moses to intercede for them before God.
Moses did intercede for them and did as God had instructed. He had a bronze seraph serpent made, mounted it on a pole, and told his people to look upon it if they were bitten. Doing so, they would be safe from harm.
Jesus, in today’s Gospel, likens Himself to that Old Testament account. Instead of a bronze serpent, however, He spoke about how He, Himself, would be put on a pole (His crucifixion) and that if anyone looked upon Him and believed, that person would be saved.
This is real stuff, folks.
It doesn’t get any more real than this.
Jesus suffered for us. He died for us. He rose from the dead for us. He did all of this for us.
IF we believe this, we are going to live a certain way. IF we believe this, we need not fear. IF we believe this, we will be saved.
If we believe this, we will be moved to contrition for the sins of ours that made it necessary for Jesus to endure suffering and death. Are we sorry for our sins? If so, we need to do something about it.
FAITH ACTION: When the children of Israel were punished by seraph serpents for straying from God, Moses was instructed to make a bronze serpent, mount it on a pole, and bring relief to all who looked at it. God gives us a way to be freed from our sins as well. It is called the sacrament of reconciliation. Pick a penance service from the list available and go to confession.
Penance Services in the Southlake Deanery.
All Penance Services begin at 7:00 p.m. unless noted otherwise.
St. John the Evangelist, St. John (3:00 p.m.)
St. James the Less, Highland
St. Andrew the Apostle, Merrillville
Our Lady of Consolation, Merrillville
St. Matthias/St. Mary, Crown Point (At St. Matthias, Crown Point)
St. John the Evangelist, St. John (8:30 a.m.)
St. Thomas More, Munster
St. Edward, Lowell
St. Michael, Schererville
Holy Name, Cedar Lake