LENT, Week 5: Tuesday

“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 Justin of Rome comments on this verse from the First Reading proclaimed at Mass today:

“Tell me, did not God, through Moses, forbid the making of an image or likeness of anything in the heavens or on earth? Yet didn’t he himself have Moses construct the brazen serpent in the desert? Moses set it up as a sign by which those who had been bitten by the serpents were healed. In doing so, was Moses not free of any sin? By this, as I stated above, God through Moses announced a mystery by which he proclaimed that he would break the power of the serpent, who prompted the sin of Adam. He promises that he would deliver from the bites of the serpent (that is, evil actions, idolatries and other sins) all those who believe in him who was to be put to death by this sign, namely, the cross.” (Dialogue with Trypho, 94)

Grant us, we pray, O Lord,
perseverance in obeying your will,
that in our days
the people dedicated to your service
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