God so Loved the World

Sunday’s reading from the book of Numbers, describes the Hebrews following their flight from Egypt coming into a region of venomous serpents.  Of course they blame Moses & God for their encounters, some of them being deadly.  As a remedy, they are instructed to place a serpent on a pole & whenever snake bitten, to focus on that image & they will be spared from death.

The reading from the gospel according to St. John references this passage & connects it to Jesus, hung on the cross.  When we focus on him, we too will be spared from death.

I think both images, serpent on the pole & Christ on the cross, serve to focus our attention on the fact that this world is not always a place of hospitality.  Hostility is real.  These are poisonous places, there are places of darkness where evil strives to hide & extinguish the light, the love, & the grace of God.

Into such a world came Jesus & when the forces of darkness had done their best (worst), he was placed in a tomb to be forever forgotten.  Yet, the tomb could not contain the light, the love, & the grace of God.

God so loved the world that darkness would never be the last word.

Light overcomes Darkness.

Love overcomes Hatred.

Grace overcomes Despair.

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