By Fr. Tony Fortman, C.PP.S.
We hear in today’s Gospel, “Jesus said to Nicodemus: ‘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.’”
There is a new Jesus movie out called The Chosen. In the beginning of episode seven, Moses is making a serpent out of bronze in the blacksmith’s tent. Joshua comes into the tent and questions Moses: why he is making a bronze serpent when the people in the Hebrew camp are dying of seraph snake bites? Joshua believes it is a pagan symbol. Moses then says to Joshua, “God told me to make this bronze serpent and I learned a long time ago to do what the almighty tells me.”
In the midst of turmoil, God sometimes asks us to do things that don’t make sense. We may ask ourselves, how will this help the situation? Remember when Jesus told Peter to cast his net on the right side of the boat for a catch? It didn’t make sense to Peter because he was fishing all night and didn’t catch anything. But at Jesus’ command, Peter let down his nets. Peter caught an abundant amount of fish.
Sometimes we think too much and use human logic. We convince ourselves that our efforts are useless. We convince ourselves that we already know the outcome. God did give us an intellect but God’s ways are not our ways and his thoughts are not our thoughts. Jesus needs obedient followers. In the movie The Chosen, the apostles question Jesus’ decision to go to Samaria and Jesus says, “If you are going to question me on every decision I make, this isn’t going to work out.”
God wants to take care of us and he does not want one soul to be lost. Not one. Those who looked onto the bronze serpent in the desert were healed from their seraph snake bites. All of us who look to Jesus on the cross will be healed of the contagion of sin. Jesus, I trust in you. I don’t understand you at times, Jesus. But I trust in you.
God bless you all.
To view the full scripture reading, click here.
Fr. Tony Fortman, C.PP.S., is the pastor of St. John the Baptist Church in Glandorf, Ohio.