The Catholic Parish of
Saint John Henry Newman

 Covering most of East Leeds

The Word This Week ~ 14 September 2014

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First Reading: Numbers 21:4-9

Even after being miraculously rescued from slavery in Egypt the Israelites are quick to lose faith in God and in his servant Moses. They donít recognise their blessings until something much worse happens to them and they are exposed to the poisonous snakes. But God immediately brings a cure when they turn back to him. God uses this mysterious symbol of a snake upon a standard as the instrument of their healing.

Second Reading: Philippians 2:6-11

Paulís great hymn reminds us that God understands completely our human condition including its slavery, suffering and death, because in Christ God has experienced it to the last breath. Christ took on this condition out of
love for the Father and out of love for humanity became ďhumbler yetĒ. The Fatherís response is the Resurrection and exaltation of Christ Jesus Christ is acclaimed as Lord because by his love the Father is seen.

Gospel Reading: John 3:13-17

Nicodemus comes to Jesus by night and is enlightened. Only Jesus is the light because only Jesus has seen God, and unlike Moses, reflects Godís glory with unveiled face. But like the fiery serpent, this light has to be lifted up to shine in the sight of all. As the Israelites who had been bitten by the snakes looked at the fiery serpent and were healed, so too
those who look to Christ on the Cross and believe are also healed of their sin and offered eternal life. On the Cross Godís love is made manifest and Godís purpose to save the world is achieved.

Published Fri 12th Sep 2014 11:20:09

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