Last night at Parish Council we read the Gospel where Jesus references Moses raising the bronze serpent up on a post in order to save the people of Israel. They were getting their feet bit all 'to hell' (honest, they were) and God told Moses to fashion the icon, put it on a pole, raise it up and have the people focus on it. They would, He promised, be saved from the fiery serpents if they did and so he did and so they were - bam!
I have always been taught (and of course I accept) that this is a pre - figurement of Christ on the cross; Jesus Himself tells us this when He compares that bronzed serpent to Himself. What I always wondered about is why a serpent? That always strikes me as a symbol of evil because, of course, I immediately associate it with The Fall as described in the book of Genesis.
So, last night (being the Dominican that I am), I asked.
Father says (without missing a beat, mind you), "It's the hair of the dog that bit you. Haven't you ever hear that expression?".
Now, it is a monument to my hard work in sobriety that he would even ask that question. But what was even funnier is everyone at the table burst out laughing. One person spit out their water.
Because they knew that to ask me that question is HILARIOUS!!!
Have I ever heard that expression?
I think that is one of the best parts of my life today - the normies (who surround me...and trust me that is exactly what it feels like sometimes, I am surrounded) not only tend to forget I am an alcoholic when they do remember it is with laughter and fun because that is what I have modeled for them. It is FUN to be sober. It is OK to poke fun at my disease and laugh out loud at the idea that someone like me would have no idea what 'a bit of the hair of the dog that bit you' would mean.
In other words, how cool is that?
Meanwhile, while everyone was laughing, I pulled out my trusty iPad and googled the question. I found a great Catholic site that discussed this very question (why a serpent?) and got an answer from a Dominican theologian.
Lifting up sin itself becomes a sign of conversion.
Jesus took on our sin, allowing Himself to be lifted up and crucified so that all might be saved.
Thank you, Holy Mother Church.