Throughout all of our lives, we're called to become more and more like Jesus. And today we hear that Jesus emptied Himself, He humbled Himself, and He was obedient—even to death on a cross. (see Philippians 2:7-8)
We could use these three qualities as an examination of conscience of sorts—as a check-in to see how we're doing: are we emptying ourselves so that He can live more fully within us and in our lives? Are we humble? Are we obedient?
I previously used to think the story about the bronze serpent in today's First Reading (see Numbers 21:4-9) was kind of weird—I didn't get it.
But someone explained the beauty of it recently which I want to share with you too. And that is that God has mercy for us and for the times that we fail and that we sin. For the times that we aren't humble and aren't obedient, and for the times that we're complaining and grumbling.
Yes, there are real consequences to sin. But God's mercy is also very real and He wants us healed. He wants us to be with Him—and He offers us exactly what we need (the bronze serpent in this particular story) for this to happen.
But there's more to this story: God doesn't just give us what we need and lead us on that path to be closer to Him. He also wants to see if we want it, if we love Him—if we're choosing Him. Therein lies another gut-check.
This is tough for me. I know I don't live that out every single day, but today I'll try—with intentionality, I'll try to love Him and to show Him that I do.
Will you try it with me?
Annie Deddens is a writer and producer. She runs a prayer ministry with her husband, called Pray More Novenas. She has a heart for the sick & suffering, and she writes about living with greater faith (hope & love, too) in this imperfect world as a Catholic wife. You can find out more about her here.