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Strange Remedy

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The Marian Fathers present this Lenten devotional series to help you prepare to receive graces on Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday.

Readings: Num 21:4-9; Ps 102:2-3, 16-18, 19-21; Jn 8:21-30
Diary: 252, 326, 449

"Then you will realize that I AM." — Jn 8:28

Many of the Israelites were dying from the punishment of seraph serpents. Moses confesses to the Lord that they have sinned and prays that the Lord take the seraphs away, which He does. What happens to those remaining who have already been bitten? The Lord prescribes a strange remedy: "Make a seraph and mount it on a pole, and whoever looks at it after being bitten will live."

Impending death — albeit spiritual — comes up in John 8 today. Jesus teaches "If you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins" (Jn 8:24). He tells the Jews, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM, and that I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me" (Jn 8:28).

We know that Jesus indeed would be "lifted up" on the Cross. This symbol of death becomes a symbol of life. The Cross shows us not only the consequence of sin, but the extreme to which God will go, out of love, to redeem us from sin.

Do you wear a cross? Do you have a crucifix in your home? Meditating on Jesus' Passion is one of the methods recommended by the saints to lead to heartfelt repentance. Look to it.

Prayer: Eternal Father … for the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Missed a day? See previous "From Ashes to Mercy" daily meditations.

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