April 5, 2023
by Scott McClure
Creighton University - Retired
click here for photo and information about the writer

Wednesday of Holy Week
Lectionary: 259

Isaiah 50:4-9a
Psalm 69:8-10, 21-22, 31 and 33-34
Matthew 26:14-25

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The 1st Four Days of Holy Week - 14 min. - Text Transcript

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Reconciliation and Healing

I remember vividly standing in front of my high school classmates in Sister Margaret’s English class, reciting today’s first reading all those years ago. Sister would make sure, you see, that we left her class able to speak publicly. As you can surmise, we practiced with Scripture…

The intervening years between that memory and now (roughly twenty have passed) have given this reading - and, by extension, today’s readings all together - deeper meaning for me. Time has a way of bringing perspective, doesn’t it? You see, when I read this passage in Sister Margaret’s class, I pictured Jesus. Clearly, Isaiah’s writing anticipated Jesus’ passion. What time has made more clear, however, is that while this anticipates Jesus, it also calls us to the same example. We are meant to imitate Jesus - and not only in the easy and obvious ways of loving. Donating to St. Vincent De Paul, volunteering at the soup kitchen, being kind to those who are also kind to us - these are all good. Jesus exhibited these and other like loving kindnesses on Earth as well - and we should imitate these! 

Being a follower and companion of Jesus, however, involves more. It involves loving kindnesses when it is hard. Especially when it is hard. When Jesus was celebrating the Passover with his disciples, he knew he was being betrayed. His betrayer was at hand. What was in motion was a true injustice wrought by humanity. Even so, Jesus does not resist, knowing full well the fate of his back and his beard. But in the face of this obvious human injustice, Jesus had in mind a higher - a transcendent - justice. Whereas we human beings value what is deserved for those ‘right’ and those ‘wrong’, God models a transcendent justice. This justice that Jesus models we know by a different name: mercy. 

Where are those ‘hard to love’ circumstances in your life? Pray with these. Bring these to the foot of the cross; to the foot of mercy. It is here that God shows us the way.

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