Daily Reflection
April 19th, 2000
Richard Hauser, S.J.
Theology Department
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Wednesday of Holy Week 
Isaiah 50:4-9
Psalms 69:8-10, 21-22, 31, 33-34
Matthew 26:14-25

"The Lord is my help, therefore I am not disgraced."

We don't really know Jesus and his love for us until we learn to go to Jesus for help in handling our sufferings.  Holy Week is an ideal time for reviewing our approach to suffering.  Do we allow our sufferings to deepen our trust in God or do we permit them to alienate us from God?

Jesus is our way, our truth and our life in everything.  He is our model for handling suffering.  Jesus suffered.  His passion and death are the culmination of a life that was full of personal suffering.  His suffering was the consequence of his dedication to doing God's will, no matter what the obstacles.  Jesus' suffering drove him to throw himself into the arms of his Father to receive the strength he needed to be faithful in working for the Father's kingdom.  And his Father stood by him through everything.

Today's reading from Isaiah is one of the four Servant Songs from Isaiah that help us understand Jesus as our savior.  He gives us the example and the strength, through our relationship with him, to embrace our crosses knowing that our Father will not abandon us, just as the Father did not abandon Jesus.  Indeed the scriptures insure us that like Jesus, we can also be transformed and deepened in our relationship to our Father and Jesus by the very way we handle our sufferings.

Let's ask for the grace this Holy Week, to embrace anew our crossed and to allow them to transform us -- just as they transformed Jesus in his passage from Good Friday to Easter Sunday.

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