A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Snakes on a pole

They frighten us instinctively and for good reason: they can slither out of nowhere and kill us.

That is what happened in today's first reading (Numbers 21:4b-9) as seraph serpents come out of the desert and kill many of the people of Israel.

Yet God chose that the people should be saved and healed by the image of a snake on a pole.

This, of course, prefigures God's ultimate act of salvation: in and through the cross of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, as our Lord himself says in today's Gospel (John 3:13-17).

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.

Not only does this demonstrate the wonderful continuity of salvation history, but it also reminds us that nothing can be so terrible or so frightening that the power of our loving and almighty God cannot make out of it a greater good for the salvation of those who are faithful by his grace.