Bible Diary English

April 5, 2022

First Reading: Num 21:4-9
Psalm:  Ps 102: 2-3, 16-18, 19-21
O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to you.
Gospel:
Jn 8:21-30

Tue: Lenten Weekday/ Vincent Ferrer, p, r, ms

Nm 21: 4-9/ Ps 102: 2-3. 16-18. 19-21/ Jn 8: 21-30 

1st Reading: Num 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.

Responsorial Psalm; Ps 102: 2-3, 16-18, 19-21
O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to you.

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.

 

 

Reflection:

 

Christ as Serpent

In many ancient cultures, serpent was often portrayed as a symbol of healing and life. Modern medicine has as its logo the Rod of Asclepius with snake around it. In some instances, the Bible too presents serpent as life-giving, though we seem to miss it due to the ‘Genesis effect.’ When fiery serpents killed Israelites, Yahweh asked Moses to make an image of a serpent and raise it on a standard, so that anyone bitten could look at it and be healed. Jesus borrows the same image for himself and declares that when he would be lifted up, the world would know who he truly is. St. John Chrysostom, in his 37th homily on the Fourth Gospel, underlines this comparison. A lead sarcophagus in Jerusalem, from the early Christian period, shows a cross with serpent feet. Hence, the question to ask ourselves: Which figure of snake do we look at: the venomous one or the redeeming One?

 

 

 

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