GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY -14TH SEPTEMBER 2017
GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY (based on Catholic Liturgical Readings)
DATE: 14TH SEPTEMBER 2017
FEAST OF THE EXALTATION OF THE CROSS
FIRST READING: Numbers 21:4-9
PSALM: Psalm 78:1-2,34-38
SECOND READING: Philippians 2:6-11
GOSPEL: John 3:13-17
THEME: LOOK TO JESUS AND BE HEALED
When a sick person sets her gaze on a hospital and walks into that facility, she does so with a certain level of trust that she would find healing there.
When the Israelites who had been bitten by fiery serpents in the desert turned their gaze towards the bronze serpent mounted by Moses, in obedience to the command of the Lord, they did so in the hope of finding healing; rightly so, those who looked at the bronze serpent lived (cf. First Reading).
In our Gospel text, Jesus makes reference to the event of the healing that took place in the desert: “And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life” (Jn. 3:14-15).
Before Jesus was lifted up from the grave and into heaven, he first had to be lifted up on a cross. In our Second Reading, Paul writes, “He humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2:8). The reference to the cross (“stauros” in Greek) is significant. The cross was a well-known instrument of death used by the Romans in meting out capital punishment. To die on a cross in the ancient world was shameful. It was a form of execution reserved for notorious criminals and those whose offences were considered grave.
By dying on a cross of shame, Jesus took upon himself every kind of human shame. The implication is deep. It means, in Christ there is a divine solution to every shameful and painful human experience.
You may be habouring a certain feeling of shame or guilt in your heart on account of an unpleasant experience. Perhaps, you even feel like giving up. Today’s message is for everyone who is “down” in life. Look to Jesus and be healed. By virtue of his death on a cross, he is able to deal effectively with sin, sickness, problem or crisis. It takes just a look of faith.
Is your heart broken? Is there trouble anywhere? Call out to Jesus in faith. He will come to your aid and rescue you, and you shall rise up to newness of life.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, on my knees, I gaze at you on the cross and cast all my burdens unto you. Quickly come to my rescue and save me. Amen
Andrews Obeng, svd
DIVINE WORD MISSIONARIES
BIBLICAL PASTORAL MINISTRY
“May the darkness of sin and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the Word and the Spirit of grace. And may the heart of Jesus live in the hearts of all people” (St. Arnold Janssen)