Pope Francis recommended looking at the crucifix as the cure when people are depressed or tired, according to the Vatican News report of his March 20, 2018, homily at Mass at Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican.
The Holy Father cited the story in Numbers 21:4-9:
The Bronze Snake
4They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea,c to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; 5they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”
6Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. 7The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.
8The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” 9So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived
The Pope noted how the people became frustrated by the long journey, lost hope, complained and suffered the bites of serpents. The serpents are an external system of poisoned hearts.
But the people could be saved by gazing on the serpent Moses made and placed on a pole. And what was its power?
“It was prophetic: it was the figure of Christ on the cross,” Pope Francis said. “By looking only at their own strength, they forgot the Lord’s strength, which had liberated them from 400 years of slavery.”
The Holy Father drew the analogy: “And here is the key to our salvation, the key for having patience on the journey of life, the key to overcome our deserts: looking at the Crucifix.” Like the people in the deserve healed by looking at the serpent, we can be healed by Jesus and his wounds, “for by those wounds we have been healed.”