Numbers 21:4-9

4 From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the people became impatient on the way. 5 And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.” 6 Then the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. 7 And the people came to Moses, and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against you; pray to the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. 8 And the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and every one who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” 9 So Moses made a bronze serpent, and set it on a pole; and if a serpent bit any man, he would look at the bronze serpent and live. 

John 8:21-30

21 Again he said to them, “I go away, and you will seek me and die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot come.” 22 Then said the Jews, “Will he kill himself, since he says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” 23 He said to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins, for you will die in your sins unless you believe that I am he.” 25 They said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Even what I have told you from the beginning. 

26 I have much to say about you and much to judge; but he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.” 27 They did not understand that he spoke to them of the Father. 28 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority but speak thus as the Father taught me. 29 And he who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to him.” 

30 As he spoke thus, many believed in him.


THE BOOK OF NUMBERS record a disenchanted,stubborn people who are fed up with their living conditions to the extent that they turned their back on God and their leader Moses with their wilful disobedience! This inordinate sinful behavior led to Moses’ prayer intercession for the people followed by bodily afflictions with calamities that saw many lives being lost.

To remedy the state of man,Moses is instructed to make a “fiery serpent” that took the form of a ‘saraf’ with wings which was set on a pole for the people to adore to effect their healing-This image appear to contradict God’s earlier injunction that no man made image shall be worshiped!?Ex 20:3-5 Not so! Theologically speaking it is a form of ‘latria,’ meaning adoration; an internal form of worship which Catholics observe in the ‘Real Presence of Christ’ in the Blessed Sacrament which is only offered to God almighty! The raised “fiery serpent” is a type of Christ on the cross of Calvary which represented and prefigured the “folly” and salvation of man! 1Cor 1:18

THE GOSPEL READING enumerates our Lord’s preemptive warning that sin is the causality of the death of man if we refuse to believe in Him. Catec 177 “To believe” has thus a twofold reference: to the person, and to the truth: to the truth, by trust in the person who bears witness to it.181 “Believing” is an ecclesial act. The Church’s faith precedes, engenders, supports and nourishes our faith. The Church is the mother of all believers. “No one can have God as Father who does not have the Church as Mother.” 

We notice the same literal application that is used in the OT reading above, when Jesus now prophesy that because of the effects of our sins He will be “lifted up” so that we may be healed! Many followers did not quite make sense of our Lord’s statement that their sin is going to cause His death such that they thought He intended to commit suicide! Those of us who believe that our once upon a time act of faith and conversion experience that led us to Christ is all that is needed to get to heaven must know it is an erroneous proposition, because that historical event cannot automatically absolve us from our subsequent future mortal sinful deeds! Moreover, we would be commiting spiritual suicide if we objectively do not seek to be absolved from our sins in the way Christ had ordered it!We are called to approach and appropriate the “ministry of reconciliation” (2 Cor 5:18-21) given by Christ, whereby we enter the confessional and enumerate each of our sins that injured our relationship with our neighbors and Christ Jesus. Upon hearing our honest sincere confession, the Consecrated priest shall absolve us from our sins: in persona christi:”In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit!”

LET US PRAY: Psalms 102:2-3,16-21

2 Do not hide thy face from me in the day of my distress! Incline thy ear to me; answer me speedily in the day when I call! 

3 For my days pass away like smoke, and my bones burn like a furnace.

16 For the LORD will build up Zion, he will appear in his glory; 17 he will regard the prayer of the destitute, and will not despise their supplication. 18 Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet unborn may praise the LORD: 

19 that he looked down from his holy height, from heaven the LORD looked at the earth, 20 to hear the groans of the prisoners, to set free those who were doomed to die; 21 that men may declare in Zion the name of the LORD, and in Jerusalem his praise, › 2018/12PDF
A Detailed Catholic Examination of Conscience – Bulldog Catholic    Henry R SYLVESTER              

Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast

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