Today’s readings always give me pause… in the desert, the people complain against God. Then come the seraph serpents that bite them and kill them. The cure is for Moses to put a serpent on a staff and hold it up. Whoever gazes on it is saved. This reading is followed by the gospel explanation that the Son of Man must be lifted up like the serpent, and that those who see this will be saved (have eternal life).

First — what is a seraph serpent? Not sure. But, it seems that the way to eternal life is to actually take the time to see ourselves and our shortcomings clearly. Then, when we see clearly, and accept all that means, we are on the road to wholeness.

My serpents are many. When I run from them and refuse to look them in the eye, I die a thousand little deaths. When I turn and face them, and look at the One who took them all on himself… ah, then I am on my way.

And so it is: you shall know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.

Thank you Jesus for being willing to accept me for what and who I am, right now. When I see this, and accept it, I am healed. When I pretend or refuse to be open to both the bad and the good, then I die.