Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent
(Numbers 21:4-9; John 8:21-30)
Pope Francis has become what might be called a "sign of contradiction." He is the Roman pontiff who stands for belief in God and an ethics of self- sacrifice. One would expect that the world would reject such an icon out of hand. But Francis is revered by non-Catholics and Catholics alike. The Scripture readings today speak of two incidents of other religious "signs of contradiction."
In the first reading God tells Moses to erect a pole with a bronze serpent to heal the Israelites of snake bites. The image of the very beast that menaced the people becomes the source of their welfare. In the gospel Jesus says that his being lifted up on the cross in death will become the source of eternal life for those who can look and recognize him as Lord.
Like Pope Francis we are to become signs of contradiction in the world. Knowing that we are destined to eternal life, we should share that joy with others and invite them to come and see the goodness of God.