March 15, 2016

In punishment the LORD sent among the people saraph serpents,
which bit the people so that many of them died.
Then the people came to Moses and said,
“We have sinned in complaining against the LORD and you.
Pray the LORD to take the serpents away from us.”
So Moses prayed for the people, and the LORD said to Moses,
“Make a saraph and mount it on a pole,
and whoever looks at it after being bitten will live.”
Moses accordingly made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole,
and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent
looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.
Numbers 21:6-9

The most obvious connection we can make to the New Testament here is between the serpent lifted up on the pole and the Son of Man lifted up on the cross. But today this text also reminded me of Eucharistic Adoration--how we are given the chance to simple look upon Our Savior. Numbers says that "whoever looks at [the bronze serpent] after being bitten will live." What is it about this practice that has the power to sustain us? We are told that Blessed Pier Giorgio would often pass the whole night in Eucharistic Adoration. If our patron valued it so highly, how can we learn to value it more as well?

This came to mind on Sunday at our Holy Hour. Before I went back to graduate school, I used to have time to make a weekly holy hour. And as I sat there on Sunday I remembered all of the reasons why I needed it--the quiet, the peace, the act of simply listening to the Lord. The freedom from having to make excuses or be productive. And the act of worship it entails--it is the perfect chance to tell God how wonderful and perfect He is, how much you need Him, and whatever else is on your heart. It was also a great reminder that one of the greatest gifts we can give God is our time. To anyone walking by, sitting in the pew in front of the monstrance would simply look like time wasted, and yet saints throughout the ages have preached on the multitude of benefits that come from this simple hour of keeping watch with the Lord. As we approach Holy Week and the memorial of Jesus's agony in the garden, let us remember that His request of His disciples that night was that they watch and pray with Him.

Today especially, asking for Pier Giorgio's passionate love of the Eucharist, let us pray in reparation for all of the ways in which our Lord is blasphemed, ignored, or desecrated in the Blessed Sacrament, the place where He makes Himself vulnerable.

I would also ask you to keep in your prayers my friend Joe, who is having heart problems.

Frassati NY