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Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Reflection 2020-04-07 Tuesday of Holy Week

Isaiah 49:1-6; Psalm 71; John 13:21-33, 36-38
Today is also called Spy Tuesday because the Gospel narrates about the betrayal of Judas and the prophesy of Jesus about the denial of Peter. But one thing stands out in the Gospel. John said Satan entered Judas and Jesus told Judas Do quickly what you are going to do. John then wrote he immediately went out. And it was night. When Judas had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him.
By saying this, Jesus speaks of his glory, happening at this point, when it was night, and dark. We often associate glory with great power and light. Yet, Jesus said NOW the Son of Man has been glorified and God is glorified in him. Jesus is saying, God’s glory is seen, not only in the manifestation of power and light, but God’s glory is seen in the darkness of our lives. From here on, Jesus enters his Passion, yet, from here, he is glorified AND God is glorified with him. This brings us to think, why is God glorified at this point? This point shows the total emptying of Jesus to the Father. While the Word of God has been emptying himself even BEFORE creation, the suffering of Jesus makes visible this emptying that has happened even before creation. Philippians 2 tells us that Jesus did not deem equality with God something to be seized. But he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave. It is this emptying, this total surrender in trust that glorifies Jesus and glorifies the Father.
While the glory of God is seen in the manifestation of power and light, true glory is seen in our total surrender to God. Which is why in the First Reading, as the Prophet said: I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely my cause is with the Lord, and my reward with my God. The Prophet saw himself as a failure. He worked hard for nothing. But he turns around and shows his trust in God. Which is why God promised the Prophet: I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.
Sin is also a darkness, yet God’s glory is seen in our sins. It does not mean we go on sinning so God’s glory is seen. But when we reject sin and turn to God, when we surrender and empty ourselves of our desire to sin, God is glorified.
God’s glory is seen when we surrender ourselves to the Lord especially, in the midst of darkness and uncertainty. When things are not going as we planned, when we are overwhelmed by our situation, when there seems to be no end to suffering, God’s glory is seen when we trust him and when God’s glory is seen, we are also glorified with God. The Psalm tells us when we take refuge in the Lord, we will not be put to shame. God is our hope, our trust. This shows that hope is not an idea. It is a Person. Trust is not an idea, it is a Person. And that Person is Jesus Christ.
While we wait for the end of this self-isolation, many are hurting. Many are affected. The front-liners put their lives in danger for our good. This itself shows the glory of God, the selflessness of Jesus, to give of himself for the lives of others. And for this we thank the Lord and continue to pray for their safety.
Aside from them, there are the elderly, those who have lost their jobs, we pray God will comfort them and give them peace. If we are one of these affected by this situation, if we are losing hope, when things are darkest in our lives, we remember what Jesus said: Now the Son of Man is glorified and God has been glorified in him. We see the glory of God when we surrender ourselves to him.
Lord, here I am. I am afraid. I am overwhelmed, yet Lord, I surrender myself to you. Let me see you glorified in this darkness. Forgive me for my sins Lord. Jesus I trust in you.

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