"Your Word is a Light for my feet and a Lamp for my path"(Psalm 119:105). "Lucerna pedibus meis verbum tuum et lumen semitis tuis"
As the Lord protects, cares and feeds us, he invites us to imitate him by doing likewise to our neighbors.
He will invite to a banquet those once ignored.
This Cross is Sacred, powerful, and salvific. It is the center of our Christian faith. We make the sign of this cross at worships, at baptism and when we receive various other sacraments in the Church. We began every (this) Mass with the sign of the Cross. Soccer and Football players, in fact sport men and women, even none practicing Christians sign themselves with the cross for success and protection, at the beginning and at the end of their competitions. Christ’s journey to the cross teaches us, everyone, especially, through the Bible readings of today some fundamentals of our faith: courage, endurance, hope, patience, humility and appreciation of all that the Lord has done for us in the past.
Psalm 78 drums this home, “do not forget the works of the Lord!” What works of the Lord is the psalmist refereeing to? I believe the “cross of the exodus,”’ the freedom from the tyranny of Pharaoh; alleviation from their pains, feeding them when they were thirsty and hungry in the desert and liberating them from various exiles during the course of Israel’s relationship with God.
But how easy it is to forget the goodness of the Lord, to murmur, to complain as was the case in today’s first reading, the Book of Numbers. The same people that God has once assisted said to Moses, “Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die in the desert, where there is no food or water?” God sent a snake to challenge them. But when they finally repent God instructed Moses to put up a fashioned bronze serpent so that the afflicted or those once bitten, could be saved by looking up to the serpent on the tree. The bronze snake no doubt is a symbol of life and wisdom. It is a symbol of Christ who did not count equality with God, but humbled himself on the tree of the cross, to save us. His humility, courage and endurance exalted him (Phil 2:6-11). And his volitional journey to the cross raised us and our loved ones from the death.
Many of us have also watched the Passion of Christ reenacted in movies. Some of those scenes are very brutal. The weight of the cross, the blood, the nails, the violent soldiers, the dusty road, those who spitted on cross or those who shouted Crucify him, Crucify him! The thorns and crowns! All these reminds us that there are different forms of crosses in our lives. It could be illness, poverty, and threats of terrorism, violence, war, tiredness, and pains on the knees, eyes, legs, heart problems, kidney, high blood pressure, or sugar in our blood. Others could be anger, bad habits, lack of team spirit, inability to live or work with one another; lack of tolerance. What about gossips and lack of self-control? You name them!