Lent: Tuesday of the Fifth Week

“Accordingly Moses made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole, and whenever the serpent bit someone, the person looked at the bronze serpent and recovered.” (Numbers 21:9)

Saint Gregory of Nazianzus reflects on this verse from today’s First Reading:

“That brazen serpent was hung up as a remedy for the biting serpents, not as a type of him that suffered for us but as a contrast. It saved those that looked upon it, not because they believed it to live but because it was killed, and killed with it were the powers that were subject to it, being destroyed as it deserved. And what is the fitting epitaph for it from us? “O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?” You are overthrown by the cross. You are slain by him who is the giver of life. You are without breath, dead, without motion, even though you keep the form of a serpent lifted up high on a pole.” (Oration 45)

Grant us, we pray, O Lord,
perseverance in obeying your will,
that in our days
the people dedicated to your service
may grow in both merit and number.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen