The readings today begin with the haunting passage, “See, my servant will prosper,” one of four (suffering) servant poems found in the later chapters of the Prophet Isaiah. The servant songs describe the servant of God who is called by God to be a source of justice for and among the People of Israel. For his efforts the Servant is abused and suffers greatly for his commitment to justice and God’s call.
The servant is described here: “so marred was his look beyond human semblance and his appearance beyond that of the sons of man.” Originally the servant represents the People of Israel as they suffer at the hands of others for their faithfulness to Yahweh. But as Christians we can be led to see and to interpret Isaiah’s words to refer to Jesus in his suffering on the cross and death for us.
An appropriate reflection today would be a quiet, meditative reading of Is. 52: 13 – Is 53:12, discovering in the Servant of God an image of Jesus as he is “marred beyond human semblance” and how he bore our infirmities and was “pierced for our offenses.” These phrases and others like them allow us an insight into the mystery of Jesus’ cruel death and the meaning of this Good Friday.
Thank you, Jesus, for your gift of life given to us through your Cross. Help each of us to discover in your sacrifice the meaning of that event as it touches into our lives. By your actions you have blessed us with mercy and forgiveness. Call us to be instruments of your compassion, forgiveness and mercy to those that we meet.
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