TUESDAY HOMILY / HOLY WEEK - YEAR B THEME: One of you will betray me! BY: Reflection by Rev Fr Oselumhense Anetor  Is. 49:1-6; John 13:21-33,36-38 Many of us don't like Judas Iscariot;


THEME: As Moses lifted the serpent, so will the Son of Man be lifted up

BY: Fr. Justus Oruh

(a) This fourth Sunday of Lent is called “Laetare” Sunday. The first reading tells of the miserable condition of the people of Israel in the hands of the Chaldeans. Those among them who escaped the sword were taken into exile in Babylon. The people lost their dignity and their happiness. They lived in darkness, in sadness and without joy. This terrible situation of the people of Israel also describes the situation of many people today.


(b) Christ says, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so will the Son of Man be lifted up.” In the desert, as it is written in the book of Numbers, the people of Israel also experienced some situations on their way to the Promised Land that robbed them of the joy of life. In the desert they were bitten by snakes back and forth. We remember that the first fall from grace was caused by the serpent in the Garden of Eden. The serpent was seen again in the wilderness to completely destroy the people of God by discomforting and robbing them of their joy to the promised land. But God in His mercy commanded Moses to make a bronze serpent and lift it up among the people, so that whoever was bitten by the serpent would be healed and made whole again when he looks upon the bronze serpent.

(c) Something we experience things and states that take away happiness and joy from us. The first among these is sin. It keeps us in a state that denies it the serenity of the heart. Illness, worries and the challenges of life can also cause sad situations. Christ is lifted on the cross among us and through the merits of the cross, we have been redeemed. If looking upon the lifted serpent on the pole could bring the people peace and joy in their discomfort, how much more looking upon Christ lifted on the wood of the cross! Rejoice! Christ is lifted above the sadness of your life. Laetare! On the cross he bore our illnesses that we may have everlasting joy. When we look up to the cross, we learn from Christ the ability and strength to endure and overcome the difficulties of life. We have joy when we can offer our sufferings, problems and challenges in life as a sacrifice with Christ on the cross who will transform them into joy and glory. We are not saved by our own works and efforts, but by the merit of Christ’s suffering on the cross, who is lifted up for us today. Christ lifted up, lifts you with Himself and gives you joy. In John 12, He says, “ when I be lifted up, I will draw all to myself.“



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