THE FEAST OF THE CROSS
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.
6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
8 And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.
9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
13 No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man.14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up,
15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.”16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
17 For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.
THE BOOK OF NUMBERS recount the occasion when the Israelites became impatient and balled their fists at God for the apparent lack of good food and water! Their vitriolic protestation was met with death, injury and pain. Notice the response of these wayward journeyman and women; they did not seek Gods intercession, instead they turn to Moses and requested that he approach God and intercede for them!
St PAUL DESCRIBE the humble, submissive virtue of Jesus who accepted His mission and calling to be a servant in human form to the extent that He accepted death on the cross. Jesus’ impeccable humility and righteousness won the day for the salvation of mankind.
St JOHN makes an astounding inference that Christ is God, when he posit that Christ descended from heaven to become man and that He also ascended to heaven. v13 Furthermore, John draws a parallel between the OT event that saw Moses’ fashioning a bronze fiery serpent on a pole, and the crucifixtion of Christ that brought healing and deliverance to the people who have sinned!
The cross of Christ generally refered to as the ‘crucifix’ is the preeminent sign of mans salvation!
Every Catholic Church arround the world has a crucifix-the cross with an image of Christ the victim- elevated above the altar of Sacrifice, to remind us of God’s work of mercy that require our humbleness and repentance unto forgiveness. To be sure, when the priest, the mediator preside at the altar and elevate the consecrated substances; flesh and blood (Jn 6:53,54) in the form of bread and wine, we the people submit and bow our heads on bended knee to receive His transcendent deliverance!! Let us stop the moans, groans and laziness brought about by a man made poison, and let us make our way to the New Covenant altar for healing and deliverance in the Sacrifice of the Mass!
LET US PRAY: Psalms 78:1-2,34-38
Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth!2 I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, 34 When he slew them, they sought for him; they repented and sought God earnestly.
35 They remembered that God was their rock, the Most High God their redeemer.36 But they flattered him with their mouths; they lied to him with their tongues.37 Their heart was not steadfast toward him; they were not true to his covenant.38 Yet he, being compassionate, forgave their iniquity, and did not destroy them; he restrained his anger often, and did not stir up all his wrath.
Author. 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.