There is nothing more upsetting than thinking of something that brought us harm let alone looking at it. Yet this is exactly what God wants us to do. Why else would He invite those bitten by the serpent to look at the serpent itself to be healed? (Num. 21: 8-9). Why else would He want us to bear the Cross – the very means used to murder Christ?
To mark our approaching proximity to the Cross, the Church inaugurates the Mid-Lent by erecting the Cross at the nave of the church typifying the serpent lifted up by Moses in the wilderness which was the representation of Christ on the Cross (John 3:14). This Cross stays at the centre of the church until the Holy Week the commencing on of which it is moved closer to the altar after all “Cross is the door to God” (𝘗𝘳𝘰𝘤𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘏𝘺𝘮𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘞𝘢’𝘥𝘦𝘩 𝘋𝘢𝘭𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘰).
Our healing often lies in confronting, subverting and transforming that which caused us harm. Cross and the serpent on the pole are the pedagogical expressions of God on how to constructively make use of our fear, trauma, anxiety, pain, agony, death and anything that cripples us holistically. Modern civilization has made us extremely vulnerable and vacillating people who helplessly succumb to the challenges of life. German educator Friedrich Wilhelm Foerster in his classic “𝘉𝘢𝘴𝘪𝘤𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘌𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯” critiques the modern persons;
“They do not know what to make of frustration – how to make something constructive of it – and see it only as something that oppresses and irritates. And though these very things provided earlier generations with the experiences through which they gained mastery over life’s challenges, they are often enough to send the rootless modern person into a mental institution.”
We have come halfway through Lent. Let us complete the other half by the Lenten wisdom we have gleaned thus far which is, as St. Paul puts it; “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Rom. 12:2).
~ 𝐃𝐚𝐲𝐫𝐨𝐲𝐨 𝐅𝐫. 𝐁𝐚𝐬𝐢𝐥
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