The wilderness of Calvary

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For 14 September 2012, Exaltation of the Holy Cross, based on Numbers 21:4b-9

Numbers 21:4b-9

From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; but the people became impatient on the way. The people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we detest this miserable food.” Then the Lord sent poisonous serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord to take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said to Moses, “Make a poisonous serpent, and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten shall look at it and live.” So Moses made a serpent of bronze, and put it upon a pole; and whenever a serpent bit someone, that person would look at the serpent of bronze and live.


Scripture passage from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright 1989, 1993, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Thomas McCarthy, OP

Thomas McCarthy was born in 1953, and took the habit of the Order of Preachers in 1971. After post-graduate studies in Rome, after his priestly ordination, he taught theology (patristics and dogmatic theology) in the House of Studies of the Irish Province of the Order, as well as at Milltown Park in Dublin. From 1996 to 2002 he served as Secretary General of the Order, residing in Santa Sabina in Rome and serving first with Timothy Radcliffe and then Carlos Azpiroz Costa. After a sabbatical year, Thomas worked with Dominican Publications from 2003 to 2016, editing Religious Life Review. He served then as prior in the Irish Dominican priory in Rome, San Clemente, and now resides in the priory in his home city, Galway, where he assists in the chaplaincy work at the University. Thomas has directed choirs in different places and has worked since 1986 with RTÉ, Ireland’s national broadcaster, as commentator and translator for Papal events (notably at Christmas and Easter) and for broadcasts from different European cities of Eucharist on major occasions.