The Serpent and Jesus on the Cross

What reminder have you used to make sure you wash your hands for 20 seconds? I’ve been using a verity of things, counting to 20, and singing happy birthday to myself twice. I’ve heard other things last about 20 seconds. Whatever we do, all of us are taking extra precautions to keep ourselves safe and free of the Coronavirus. I must admit it hasn’t been easy with everything closed and everyone keeping six feet away. However, I believe we can grow in holiness during this time, and even though this is a dark moment, a valley God can make good out of it!

We may be able to relate to the situation in our first reading. They were too facing something dangerous. Serpents came into their midst, and if one bit, death would follow. I imagine they also had to take precautions to protect themselves. If we follow the story, Moses, following God’s instructions, puts a bronze serpent on a stick. If the snake bites someone, they receive healing by looking at the bronze serpent. Jesus in the Gospel uses similar language to speak about his coming crucifixion. “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM.” They lifted Jesus up on a pole, and through it, we all live.

We face a similar danger outside of the Coronavirus. Sin, while it may not physically harm us, can harm us and kill us in a deeper way. As dangerous as the Coronavirus is, it is still nothing before God. Even if we do catch the virus and maybe die because of it, God will always be there to save us and bring us to our eternal reward in heaven. However, if we do not repent of our sin, something worse will happen than death, eternal separation from God. We should not fear because Jesus was risen up on the cross, and through his death and resurrection, we will have eternal life. As we begin to approach the end of Lent and prepare to celebrate the Lord’s passion and death, may we be reminded of the importance of protecting ourselves from eternal death. I hope everyone stays safe and free of the Coronavirus, but I hope we, too, can look to the cross and receive his mercy and forgiveness.

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