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Pope Francis: The Son of Man was “Like a Serpent”, “Became Sin”, was “Stained by S
October 16, 2016

Pope Francis: The Son of Man was “Like a Serpent”, “Became Sin”, was “Stained by Sin”

In a homily delivered on Tuesday of the fifth week of Lent, in Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis put a new spin on the episode of the bronze serpent in the desert mentioned in the Book of Numbers (21: 4–9). He said that Jesus was dirtied by sin, and implied that the serpent symbolizes our faults. Below is the exact text of the homily of the Pope in this regard:

"The serpent is a symbol of sin. The serpent that kills but also a serpent that saves. And this is the Mystery of Christ. Paul, when speaking about this mystery, said that Jesus emptied himself, humiliated himself and destroyed himself in order to save us. And (what’s) even stronger, ‘he became sin’. Using this symbol, he became a serpent. This is the prophetic message of today’s reading. The Son of Man, who like a serpent, ‘became sin,’ is raised up to save us. […] the story of our redemption, this is the story of God’s love. If we want to know God’s love, let us look at the Cross, a man tortured, a God, emptied of his divinity, dirtied [stained] by sin…Sin is the work of Satan and Jesus defeats Satan by ‘becoming sin’ and from there he lifts up all of us."

Did Christ become stained in assuming our nature?

The Pope’s homily begs an important clarification, lest it be misunderstood: did become “dirtied by sin” when He assumed our nature?

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