March 15, 2015

But, as Jesus was speaking on a deeper level, so does today’s first reading. In the first paragraph we hear that Israel had, in effect, “fallen” already through its infidelity to the covenant. Lest we get too cozy, this account reminds us that God, though just, loving, and merciful, is capable of punishing sin when that sin is unrepentant. But we are also reminded that God, rich in mercy, anoints individuals to be vessels of salvation as well (in Hebrew, King Cyrus of Persia is called “messiah”). In the Gospel reading, we hear of another Messiah being “lifted up” for our salvation in one of the best‑known passages from the New Testament. As Lent concludes and we enter Holy Week, we need to keep our gaze steadfast upon the cross of Christ, the Son of God who came into the world to raise us who had fallen.

 

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