Tuesday of Holy Week
Book of the Prophet Isaiah 49:1-6, Psalm 71:1-6, 15-17, &
John 13:21-33, 36-38
Holy Week is a wonderful, glorious time. Yet, for me, it is also a time of confusion and mixed emotions. I feel great joy at the thought of how deeply God loves me and that all my sins are forgiven through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Yet, I feel a deep sadness at the thought that Christ went to the cross because of my sins. Today's scriptures are just as diverse as my feelings.
In Isaiah, we are given a glimpse of the coming of Christ, "I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth." The Psalmist sings praises to God, "My mouth shall declare your justice, day by day your salvation. O God, you have taught me from my youth, and till the present, I proclaim your wondrous deeds."
The Last Supper, Painted by Juan de Juanes, Madrid, circa 1567.
Then comes John's Gospel narrative of Jesus' final hours with the disciples. These twelve men have spent the last few years eating, drinking, and sleeping with the Son of God. They have witnessed great miracles, learned from His teachings, and had their future ministries explained. Our Lord has been preparing the disciples for the crucifixion, and yet when Jesus says that He is leaving, well, they still don't get it. Judas betrays Jesus to the authorities for money. How can he not understand the choice he has made? Then, Peter proclaims that he would lay down his life for Jesus and is told that he will deny Christ three times that very night. How did Satan get his claws so firmly in the hearts of two of the disciples?
This story presents so many confusing questions. I believe, even with the advantage of hindsight, this story raises so many questions in our hearts. However, several things are made clear as well. Despite all their inadequacies, Jesus loves the disciples. He loves them to the point of laying His life down for them. As a father and grandfather, I marvel at the fact that I would gladly lay down my life for all of my children and their children. So it is with God's love for me.
Friends, one of Holy Week's glories is this thought—We as human beings are a long way from being perfect. Despite that fact, God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son to die for our sins. What a wonderful God we worship!
Question of the Day: How will you give thanks praise to God this week as we approach the sacred Triduum?
Prayer: "God did not spare His own Son, but handed Him over for us all." (Romans 8:32)