As Moses lifted the serpent in the desert

Published September 14, 2021, 12:05 AM

by Manila Bulletin


Reflections today

The cross in itself is a sign of ignominy; no one wants to die hanging on a cross. And yet this was the symbol and the locus that our Lord chose by which to save us. Now, the symbol becomes more dramatic when it is exalted; as a matter of fact, it becomes a paradox: humiliation is glorified, put in the spotlight, exalted. Jesus hanging on the cross needs to be looked at for anyone to be saved by it. This was the paradigm of Moses being asked to lift the bronze serpent up so that anyone who would look at it would be healed. And so it is with the crosses that we bear in daily life: no one would like to give importance to them as they already are heavy; on the contrary, we downplay them or even at times pretend they do not exist. And yet it is also true that if we are conscious of them, accept them as part of our following of Jesus with his cross, the heaviness disappears because of the new meaning they acquire and the new significance they now have in our lives. And so we no longer fear them; we no longer avoid them when they come. For they will remind us of the way Jesus carried the burden of our sins out of love for us.

GOSPEL • Jn 3:13-17

Jesus said to Nicodemus: “No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man. And 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.”

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2021,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: