Mass Readings: Numbers 21:4–9/John 8:21–30

Lift the Cross

Do you know the hymn, “Lift High the Cross”? It would be appropriate today, if your parish sings at weekday Masses. The first reading from the Book of Numbers tells of the complaining Israelites in the desert who are afflicted by bites of fiery serpents. The cure? Moses lifts a bronze serpent on a pole and “whoever looks at it after being bitten will live” (Nm 21:8).

For Christians, this is a figure of Christ’s being lifted up on the cross: “And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life” (Jn 3:14–15). It might be a good day to just stare at a crucifix again to prepare ourselves for Holy Week.

Prayer: We adore You, O Christ, because by Your cross You have redeemed the world.