Tuesday, March 31, 2015

In what ways have you betrayed or denied Jesus? How did you feel afterwards? - Daily Reflections March 31,2015

Our First Reading today describes the Christlike Suffering Servant of the Lord. As The Vatican II Weekday Missal says about this passage: “It is almost a portrait of Jesus during [this] Holy Week.” The Servant’s travails and sufferings were rewarded by God, with glory and strength.
         On the other hand, the Gospel today is even more sinister with the episode of Judas’s betrayal of Jesus and also His prediction of Simon Peter’s denial. By means of mealtime fellowship and friendship, Jesus reveals the identity of His betrayer. The moment Judas Iscariot had gone out, Jesus declares, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.”
         Strangely, these words of Jesus fail to rouse His Apostles. It is only later, when Jesus makes an ominous statement, “Where I am going, you cannot follow me now,” that they are struck and react with panic and pretentious courage (especially seen on the part of Simon Peter, whose bravado is at once dismantled by Jesus with a no-nonsense prediction of the denial he would do). Obviously the Apostles’ servanthood is still very much self-serving and self-directed, and they have yet to yield to the glory of God.
         It may be hard to accept and believe, but hardships, sufferings and trials still contain the silver lining of God’s glory. That’s why we know that even the tragic events commemorated during this Holy Week will culminate in the Lord’s glorious victory. There are just no shortcuts to it; you cannot reverse or skip through the essentially unbreakable Good Friday-Holy Saturday-Easter Sunday sequence. If we patiently bear our adversities — and of course, acknowledge and repent of our failures, denials, and betrayals of God — the glorious reward from Him will surely be ours, too. Fr. Martin Macasaet, SDB
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: In what ways have you betrayed or denied Jesus? How did you feel afterwards?
Sorry, dear Jesus, for not being bold enough to proclaim You and use my life to witness to You. Empower me, Lord.

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