5TH APRIL 2022
Readings: Numbers 21:4-9/Psalm 102:2-3, 16-18, 19-21/John 8:21-30
THEME: “I AM GOING AWAY and YOU WILL LOOK FOR ME”
Our Blessed Lord tells the Pharisees in today's Gospel: 'I go away and you will seek me and die in your sins unless you believe... When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I am he...' When Jesus is lifted up on the Cross, people will now look up to Him as the real Messiah. Even his executioners had to confess that he is the Son of God, (Matthew 27:54. When Jesus is lifted up, there would be so many signs and wonders performed among the people of God. When Jesus was lifted up from the grave, everything was fulfilled. The resurrection of Jesus is the greatest proof that he is the Messiah. After that the Holy Spirit was poured out on the disciples and Christianity was inaugurated - GOD IS GOOD! This points to the fact that we cannot understand Christ until we have understood His Holy Cross.
Through his teaching and healing ministry, Jesus tried to convince his listeners that he was the promised Messiah. But only a few of his followers acknowledged him as the Messiah. The pride and the prejudice of the scribes and the Pharisees prevented them from seeing anything Divine in Jesus. Hence, Jesus gave them the warning that he was going to the place where he had come from, and they would not be able to go there. They misunderstood Jesus’ statement about his going home to Heaven as planning suicide. So, Jesus gave the Jews the warning that they would die in their sins unless they believed in him as the saving Messiah and accepted his teaching. Then Jesus clarified how he was going to save those who believed in him by referring to the story of Moses’ bronze serpent (First Reading), a symbol of God’s benevolent saving will, exercised toward His wayward, now repentant, children. Just as the complaining Israelites in the desert were healed and saved from the serpent bites by looking at the bronze serpent lifted on the pole, Jesus, too, would be lifted on a cross for the salvation and freedom from sin of all mankind. Jesus further explained that his cross would defeat sin and death and that he would give everlasting life to those who believed in him as the Messiah. Jesus declared his Divinity when he said, “I am He.”
For us today: We need to be humble instruments in the hand of God, trusting in His power and goodness. St. Augustine reminds us that God Who created us without our permission cannot save us without our active cooperation, for to do so would be a violation of our free will, His gift to us so that we might love Him and each other freely, or reject Him and each other in equal freedom. Hence, let us cooperate in the fulfillment of God’s plan for us with Mary’s trusting Faith and humility. Like Mary who brought God to us as Jesus our Savior, we are called to carry Jesus and bring him to the lives of others around us in love, mercy, forgiveness, and service. Let our prayer be that the soul of Mary may be in each one of us to magnify the Lord. And may the spirit of Mary be in each one of us as we exult in Christ by our lives. Christ said 'You will die in your sins unless you believe in me'. Let us purity our souls during this season of Lent and stop the hypocrisy that is not making us happy in the vineyard of the Lord. May God bless you today!