Monday, April 07, 2014
Tuesday, Fifth Week of Lent
April 8, 2014
Tuesday, Fifth Week of Lent
Nm 21: 4-9 / Ps 102:2-3, 16-18, 19-21 / Jn 8:21-30
Reading: Nm 21:4-9
From Mount Hor they set out by the Red Sea road to go around the land of Edom. The people were discouraged by the journey and began to complain against God and Moses, "Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is neither bread nor water here and we are disgusted with this tasteless manna." Yahweh then sent fiery serpents against them. They bit the people and many of the Israelites died. Then the people came to Moses and said, "We have sinned, speaking against Yahweh and against you. Plead with Yahweh to take the serpents away." Moses pleaded for the people and Yahweh said to him, "Make a fiery serpent and set it on a standard; whoever has been bitten and then looks at it shall live." So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a standard. Whenever a man was bitten, he looked towards the bronze serpent and he lived.
Gospel: Jn 8: 21-30
Again Jesus said to them, "I am going away, and though you look for me, you will die in your sin. Where I am going you cannot come." The Jews wondered, "Why does he say that we can't come where he is going? Will he kill himself?" But Jesus said, "You are from below and I am from above; you are of this world and I am not of this world. That is why I told you that you will die in your sins. And you shall die in your sins unless you believe that I am He." They asked him, "Who are you?"; and Jesus said, "Just what I have told you from the beginning. I have much to say about you and much to condemn; but the One who sent me is truthful and everything I learned from him, I proclaim to the world." They didn't understand that Jesus was speaking to them about the Father. So Jesus said, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He and that I do nothing of myself, but I say just what the Father taught me. He who sent me is with me and has not left me alone; because I always do what pleases him." As Jesus spoke like this, many believed in him.
Jesus Christ reveals himself to us as "I Am who Am" or "I Am" - the name by which God revealed himself to Moses. In Semitic thought, "I Am" brings to mind God's deliverance of Israel from the slavery in Egypt, which was a powerful and merciful intervention of God in the history of this people. For Israel, "I Am" is the true God, the only one who can save. Even if we are not of Semitic origin, we are the new Israel - for God is ready to manifest himself to us in our lives today. He is acting now with the same strength to save us from the tyranny of Pharoah, which is sin. However, we are like the Israelites in the desert as portrayed in today's first reading which describes the consequences of this people's lack of trust in God: they were bitten by the snakes and were dying from the poison. This is the effect of sin in us. Whenever we sin, we kill God in us and choose to do our own will, thus making ourselves God. When we kill God, who is life itself, we kill life within us. That is why Jesus says in the Gospel, "You will die in your sins." Today Christ is waiting for us to believe that he was sent by the Father so that we do not need to die in our sins because on the cross he has already destroyed sin. We are called to believe in Christ who is telling us today, "I Am." In believing, we will have life.
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
* Louie Relatado, Romie Ang, Felisa Co Lee
... for world peace and reconciliation
... for the repose of the soul - Diana Dy Chiuten
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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