Reflection on the Daily Readings for 3/31/09 by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM

Today’s Readings

Scripture for Tuesday of 5th week of Lent: Numbers 21: 4-9. Psalm
102:2-3,16-18, 19-21. John 8:21-30. Lectionary # 253:

Prayer is always important and helpful but especially during this
season of Lent where we emphasize prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.  Prayer
helps us develop as persons of faith who are in the end totally dependent
on God. In the continuous selections from John from the Book of Signs,
prayer centers on our deepening our relationship with Jesus through our
faith.  Jesus, in this Gospel, gives us the most intense moments of his own
prayer as we will see during the reading of the Passion Narrative from John
as well as from chapters 13-17.

If we are slothful and reluctant to pray, we may be spurred on to
change when we hear the words of today's Gospel: "They did not grasp that
he was speaking to them of the Father."  Then after saying this he gives
the second announcement of his impending death: "When you lift up the Son
of Man you will come to realize that I AM and that I do nothing by myself.
The One who sent me is with me."

We have already seen John recalling the first reading in the first
announcement of his death back in chapter 3 where Jesus compares his being
lifted up to the bronze serpent lifted up on a pole. Those who believed
while looking upon what had harmed them with the venemous stings and bites
becomes a sign of contradiction for now they are healed by its image.
Jesus being lifted up is no image, but the reality of his death and return
to the right hand of his Father.  Jesus is the Apostle par excellence sent
by God.  It is he who heals us from sin and death if we truly pray and
believe in him.  Amen.