S e n t i r e C u m E c c l e s i a

"To keep ourselves right in all things, we ought to hold fast to this principle: What seems to me to be white, I will believe to be black if the hierarchical Church thus determines it. For we believe that between Christ our Lord, the Bridegroom, and the Church, His Spouse, there is the one same Spirit who governs and guides us for the salvation of our souls..." - Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius [365]

Saturday, March 25, 2006

When I am lifted up, I will draw all men to Myself

The crucifix above is what we Jesuits call as the "Vow cross" (compliments from www.jesuits.ph). Each Jesuit who professes his perpetual first Vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience in the Society of Jesus receives this cross as a reminder of his lifelong commitment to God and to His Church.

My vow cross was the first picture that came into my mind when I read the Gospel passage of today, the Fourth Sunday of Lent. My attention was drawn to the crucified Christ when I encountered the line "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him might have life eternal" (John 3: 14-15). This reflection brought me further to the scripture passage where Jesus said that "when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to Myself." This, I believe, is the essence of today's Liturgy.

We are reminded by the Church in this season of Lent of our many sins -- both of commision and omission -- and we are drawn towards contrition. We are faced with the reality that we are doomed to damnation because of our many failings. But God, in His generoisty and mercy, did not allow this to happen. He sent His only begotten Son, that whoever may believe in Him will not die, but will gain life eternal. And I am convinced this is the message for us today.

So as we continue with our discipline of Lent, let us beg the Lord to grant us the grace of deep love and appreciation for the great Gift of Jesus, and for the salvation he brings in our lives. It is only in Jesus that we find life and redemption.

a very simple tip and food for thought:
If you have the chance, gaze at the crucified body of Jesus hanging on the cross. In the sincereity of your hearts, whisper to Him your gratitude and love. HE LOVES YOU -- it took Him his whole self, His whole life to prove this to you...


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