April 8, 2014

April 8

April 8, 2014:  Tuesday, 5th week of Lent

Readings
    Moses and the Brazen Serpent/ Bourdon
  • Nm 21:4-9  The children of Israel complained, “Why have you brought us to die in this desert with its wretched food?!”  In punishment the Lord sent saraph serpents; many died from their bites.  The people told Moses, “We've sinned in complaining.  Pray the Lord to take the serpents away.”  After Moses prayed, the Lord told him, “Mount a saraph; whoever looks at it will live.” He did; it worked.
  • Ps 102:2-3, 16-21  "O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to you."  The Lord looked down to hear the groaning of the prisoners and release those doomed to die.
  • Jn 8:21-30  Jesus to Pharisees:  “I am going away.  I do not belong to this world.  If you do not believe I AM, you will die in your sins.  I say only what the Father taught me.  The one who sent me is with me.  I do what is pleasing to him.”  Many came to believe.
Pope Francis
  • Homily:  We can't free ourselves from sin on our own.  The serpent is the symbol of sin.  Sin was lifted up, but it sought salvation so it healed.  Christianity is a person who annihilated himself to save us, who became sin.  Just as sin was raised up in the desert, God who was made man was raised up.  All our sins were there.  You can't understand Christianity without understanding the Son's humiliation; he humbled himself and became a servant unto death, even death on a cross, to serve us.  Through God's mercy, we rejoice in the crucified Christ.   There's no Christianity without the Cross, and there’s no Cross without Christ.  The Cross is not an ornament; it's the mystery of God who humbled himself.  Where is your sin?  It's in the Cross.  Find it there, in His wounds, and your wounds will be healed and your sins forgiven.  God's forgiveness isn't like cancelling a debt; it's the wounds of his Son on the Cross, raised up.  May he draw us to him, and may we let him heal us.
    Reflections
        Wordle: Readings 4-8-14
        "Wordle" of today's readings
      • Creighton:  We need to see and understand the nature and power of our sin to be healed.  The Israelites' sin of ingratitude is like a venomous snake, but it wasn't recognized till it was lifted up on a pole and they looked and were cured.  Jesus took on our sin to put it to death and free us.  As St. Ignatius of Loyola challenged, stand before the cross and ask Jesus:  “What have I done for you?  What am I doing for you?  What can I do for you?”
        • Passionist:  "Lift High the Cross" defines our role as Christians.  It's not about holding suffering, violence, or death sacred but proclaiming God's love.  God heard Moses' prayer and saved the people from the serpents; Jesus became a living sacrifice for us.  Let people know what you're celebrating in Holy Week and Easter.
        • Moved to greater love Jesuit reflection on union with Jesus along journey to cross:  How have I wandered and been lost in the desert?  At the foot of the cross, what do I see through the lens of faith and love?  +"The Dark Nights"/ Oliva, "Ite Inflammate Omnia" (SJ GC 35, Decree 2)
        Music
        Apparel

        • "Serpent" tie pin:  bronze serpent (1st reading)
        • "Kneeling person" tie bar:  "Lord, hear my prayer" (psalm)
        • "I ♥ my dad" tie:  Jesus always does what pleases the Father (gospel)
        • Purple shirt:  Lenten season

        Dress your life!