We are perplexed by the chaos that has set in again on the planet. A great fear has taken over humanity, a veil of mourning covers the world, fear, crying and pain have put us in a condition of powerlessness and strange equality.


Our consecrated life and that of all Christians, cannot give up or remain silent; they must announce Hope and be a point of light in the midst of chaos! Our subject is faith in the Word and in the history of our redemption, looking with confidence at the Crucified and believing in the Resurrection.


We remember God's people crossing the desert, described in Numbers 21:4-9. The image presented reveals great disharmony, complaining, selfishness, and longing for the oppressor in Pharaoh's system, accusing God and the leader Moses of their misfortune.  Flaming serpents appear, killing, destroying and causing more chaos. This is the image of humanity's weakness and sin, and of its responsibility in the face of evil.  The serpents bit a large number of people and many perished.


Within this chaos, a light emerges: repentance and in the awareness of their sin, they made a bronze serpent, hanging from a pole, which became a cure for those who contemplated it. Serpents were not eliminated, but when those affected looked at the bronze serpent, they had a certainty of healing.


There is here a prefiguration of Jesus, assuming our humanity (serpent) that "hung" on the cross. By contemplating him we are healed of our sins, because we recognize our sins, and we desire conversion! He said to Nicodemus: “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” (John 3:3). And he continued his dialogue that neither Nicodemus nor humanity have understood yet: “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  (John 3:14-16)


We will continue in hope with this Light, illuminated by the risen Jesus and by those who have preceded us in the history of the Congregation, with the prophetic witness of laying down their lives for  those crucified by the plague, by the prostitution and by the horrors of war.  St. John Eudes and St. Mary Euphrasia invite us to ignite this Hope, to withdraw the veil of mourning that covers humanity, through contemplation of the Crucified, through forgiveness and reconciliation, which are the greatest antidotes to the evils that kill humanity and nature!


In the midst of this chaos the light of Christ is shining. Let us ignite that light with the testimony of Love and Mercy. The light which expels the chaos is the closeness to people, the experience of a domestic Church (more than institutions and rites), the simplicity of the Gospel, the care of creation, the simplicity of our lives, and being more for others!


May the contemplation of the Crucified lead us to meet the crucified, because "by his wounds we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5).


FOR REFLECTION (personal and in community)

  1. What are these texts saying? (Numbers 21: 4-9); (John 3,3); John 3:14-16)
  2. What is God talking about? What are the lights?
  3. What does the text make me want to say to God?
  4. Based on that word, what is my new outlook?  (How do I want to look at people and the world?)

Sister Maria Aurea Marques, rgs, Brazil