5th Week of Lent, Tuesday, 09-04-19

Numbers 21:4-9 / John 8:21-30

Jesus warns the Pharisees

“Where I am going you cannot come. ” When Jesus said, “Where I am going you cannot come,” the Pharisees wondered if he was planning to take his own life. Rabbis held that people who took their life went to the deepest part of the nether world.

This shows how terribly the Pharisees had misread Jesus
and how far from the truth they were. What Jesus actually meant was that he was returning to his Father in heaven. Spiritual blindness is a terrible sin.
It implies a deliberate closing of one’s eyes to the truth.
This seems to have been the situation of the Pharisees.
This is why Jesus told the Pharisees, “You will die in your sins.”
Do we ever tend to close our eyes to truth because we are afraid of what we might see? “The eye does not see
what the mind is unwilling to look at.” Anonymous

In life, we will always have stress, which of course we do not welcome at all. More so when stress turns to distress, then we will get all flustered and frustrated.

In the 1st reading, we heard how the Israelites were in distress, but that was due to their own grumblings at God and the consequence was the scourge of the fiery serpents.

But out of this distress, arose the intercession of Moses which brought about healing for the people.

For Jesus, His greatest moment of distress was when He was nailed to and lifted up on the cross. But it was also on the cross that He revealed His full identity as Saviour.

The cross was also His throne of glory.

Whenever we sink into the depths of distress, or face trials and difficulties that wear us down, let us remember this.

That in times of great distress, God is closest to us in His full power to lift us up so that we can see His glory.

The times of distress are also the time in which God reveals His saving love for us.

That is somehow difficult to believe, just as it would seem strange that by looking at the image of a bronze serpent on a standard would bring about healing.
But as we look at Jesus being lifted up on the cross, then we will understand. Then we will believe.

Because we are looking at our Saviour who came to heal and forgive and save us. (SY)