Today Jesus speaks of his death and glorification, although he does speak of this in very veiled terms. Toward the end of today’s Gospel reading, he says, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM.” What he means, of course, is that when they lift him up on the cross, they will realize that he is the Son of God, made manifest in our world. And we know that after his death, the centurion has that very revelation: “Surely this was the Son of God!” This is reflected, then, in today’s first reading. Those who look upon the golden seraph that Moses lifted up on a pole had new life, just like those who look on the Son of God lifted up on the cross have eternal life.
Today the Son of God is to be lifted up for us in the Eucharist. Each time the host and the cup are raised up, we have the opportunity to know that Jesus is the Son of God, lifted up on the cross for our salvation, present in the Eucharist for our strength. As our Eucharistic and Saving Lord is lifted up for us today, may we come to a greater awareness of his glory.