• Mary Jo Barr

Tuesday the Fifth Week of Lent



MASS READINGS

Reading NM 21:4-9 From Mount Hor the children of Israel set out on the Red Sea road, to bypass the land of Edom. But with their patience worn out by the journey, the people complained against God and Moses, “Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert, where there is no food or water? We are disgusted with this wretched food!”

In punishment the LORD sent among the people saraph serpents, which bit the people so that many of them died. Then the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned in complaining against the LORD and you. Pray the LORD to take the serpents away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people, and the LORD said to Moses, “Make a saraph and mount it on a pole, and whoever looks at it after being bitten will live.” Moses accordingly made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole, and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.

Gospel JN 8:21-30 Jesus said to the Pharisees: “I am going away and you will look for me, but you will die in your sin. Where I am going you cannot come.” So the Jews said, “He is not going to kill himself, is he, because he said, ‘Where I am going you cannot come’?” He said to them, “You belong to what is below, I belong to what is above. You belong to this world, but I do not belong to this world. That is why I told you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins.” So they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “What I told you from the beginning. I have much to say about you in condemnation. But the one who sent me is true, and what I heard from him I tell the world.” They did not realize that he was speaking to them of the Father. So Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM, and that I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me. The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do what is pleasing to him.” Because he spoke this way, many came to believe in him.

REFLECTION

“When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM, and that I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me. (John 8: 28)


How many times have I complained about one thing or another? Countless times!


My husband was very sick. He had cancer. There were many treatments, different chemotherapy treatments, radiation, and bone marrow transplants (tandem). He had neuropathy in both of his feet as a side affect of some of the treatments. It was extremely painful to walk. He was in constant pain by the fifth year. The amazing thing was even though he was in pain he would never complain. I know that he was struggling with it because at night in his sleep he would moan in pain. I prayed many rosaries for him during those nights. Yet, in the morning he would never admit it to me. When I asked how he felt he'd say "peachy keen," then we would both laugh.


God didn't seem to like hearing complaints. The Israelites always had ants (automatic negative thoughts) crawling in their heads. The camp became overrun with saraph serpents. Saraphs were coppery in color and had a firey bite which was also very poisonous. Many of the Israelites died. Realizing that they may have angered God they asked Moses to ask God's forgiveness and send the serpents away. God gave Moses the instructions on how to cure the snake bites. “Make a saraph and mount it on a pole,and whoever looks at it after being bitten will live.”(Numbers 21: 4-8)


Again in the Gospel, Jesus has to put up with the automatic negative thoughts of the Pharisees. They don't want to believe that Jesus is who he says He is. So, they ask, "Who are you?" Jesus answers, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM, and that I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me. (John 8: 28) Jesus is telling them that He is I AM. He is the same son of God who will be lifted high on a tree for the sins of all men. He will conquer sin and death for them too, if they believe.


I have the same shortcomings as the Israelites and the Pharisees. It is hard to see what is staring at us in our faces. The Blessed Trinity is the cure. God the Father cured the Israelites from their snake bites and God the son died on a tree to cure us of original sin and to conquer death in His Resurrection. Let us all pray in supplication and thanksgiving for a cure to the Coronavirus by the Resurrection of Our Lord!


We miss receiving you sacramentally, Jesus!

Please listen to our prayers!





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