Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. (Jn 3:14-15)
Today is the celebration of a victory.
It might seem quite strange to those who do not believe, though, because the victory we celebrate is the victory of the cross.
The cross was a symbol of hatred, of punishment, and of death. All who looked at the cross would cringe because they knew that it was an instrument of torture. No one who died on the cross died an “easy” death. Their deaths would be extremely harsh and, more often than not, over a long period of time.
How could we possibly talk about the cross being victorious, then?
It is because Jesus Christ changed even that symbol of hatred and death into something new: a symbol of love and life.
Our God died upon the cross out of great love for us and when He did so, He rose from the dead so that He could restore us to eternal life. Whenever we look upon the cross, we think about Christ’s victory over sin and death. We think about His great love for us. We think about how He has handed that victory over to us so that we may claim it for our own.
The world may be filled with hatred and punishment and death. But Jesus Christ gives us the victory through the cross!
FAITH ACTION: Pray the Prayer to Christ Crucified
My good and dear Jesus, I kneel before you,
asking you most earnestly to engrave upon
my heart a deep and lively faith, hope, and
charity, with true repentance for my sins,
and a firm resolve to make amends.
As I reflect upon your five wounds, and
dwell upon them with deep compassion
and grief, I recall, good Jesus, the words
the prophet David spoke long ago concerning
yourself: “They have pierced my hands and
my feet; they have counted all my bones!”