Immersed in Christ: April 8, 2020
Wednesday of Holy Week
Note: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Holy Saturday Vigil and Easter Sunday are all one extended celebration called the “Easter Triduum” (three days). So the Easter season actually begins on Holy Thursday.
The Responsorial (read all of Psalm 69) is the constant prayer of the servants of God: “Lord, in your great love, answer me.”
Isaiah 50: 4-9 is the third Song of the Servant. The Servant neither depends on human support nor fears human opposition. His confidence is in God.
• God has equipped him: “The Lord God has given me a well-trained tongue.” Think of how God has equipped us in the Church. But for our “tongue” to serve, it must be “trained” through use of “word and sacrament.”
• Training is ongoing: “Morning after morning he opens my ear that I may hear.” The Servant is a continuing disciple. He listens. Daily. “The Servant must first be a disciple, prayerfully receiving God’s word, before he can presume to teach others.” 1
• He accepts persecution and suffering without resentment: “I have not rebelled, have not turned back. I gave my back to those who beat me....” The “way of the cross” is to endure evil and love back.
• He relies on God for strength and victory: “The Lord God is my help, therefore I am not disgraced.”
• This is the source of his courage and perseverance. Nothing is going to turn him aside from his mission: “I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame.” “See, the Lord God is my help.”
Mathew 26: 14-25 shows us another contrast. Judas looks ahead and sees that Jesus is going to go down. So he takes care of himself. He takes his stakes out of the pot and invests in the future. He goes over to the enemy, the “chief priests,” and asks, “What will you give me if I hand him over to you?”
By contrast, when the other disciples look ahead, they go to Jesus: “Where do you wish us to prepare the Passover supper for you?” They are with him and have cast in their lot with him. They trust in whatever he says.
Jesus answers as he did when they asked him how to feed the crowd following him in the wilderness. Then he told them to call on the community, ask them to share. “How many loaves have you? Go and see.” They found a boy with “five barley loaves and two fish.”
Now he says, “Go to this man in the city...” — obviously a believer — “...and tell him, ‘the Teacher says my appointed time draws near. I am to celebrate the Passover with my disciples in your house.’” Jesus knows he will share.
“When it grew dark, he reclined at table with the Twelve” — soon to be eleven. As night approached, all they had was themselves and God. It was enough.
Except for Judas. After receiving the “bread” from Jesus’ hand, he “immediately went out.” Then, John wrote, “It was night.”2
Initiative: In any need, pray “Lord, in your great love, answer me.”
1 Jerome Biblical Commentary, 1968. 2 Mark 6:38; John 6:9; 13;26-30.