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Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Reflection 2020-04-08 Wednesday of Holy Week

Isaiah 50:4-9; Psalm 69; Matthew 26:14-26
The First Reading shows us three things God has done to his servant:
  1. Given the tongue of a teacher to sustain the weary.
  2. Wakens my ear as those who are taught. In turn the prophet obeys what God tells him. He faces insults and abuse.
  3. Helps me and he concludes: THEREFORE I have not been disgraced.
These summarize the life of Jesus. He preached the Gospel to save the needy. He goes to his suffering and death, trusting that even if people falsely accuse him, God will help him.
Which is why in the Gospel, Jesus calmly tells his Apostles of his betrayal. Jesus knew his time has come to die, yet, he pushes on, trusting his Father will deliver him. The Responsorial Psalm tells us what happened in the Passion of Jesus. He was insulted, he even was in despair. No one was there to comfort him. Instead, they heap insult after insult. But the last verse of the Psalm says I will praise the name of the Lord with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving. Let the oppressed see it and be glad. This shows that whatever happens, we continue to praise God. Jesus, as he was on the Cross, dying, continues to trust in his Father, that as he breathed his last, he said Father, into your hands, I commit my Spirit. Since a person’s spirit is his deepest being, Jesus fully shows what it means to empty himself to the Father. We empty ourselves to God, our deepest being, not only our material things, or our bodies.
But why should I empty myself to God? The Entrance Antiphon today is from Philippians 2 which says At the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on the earth and under the earth, for the Lord became obedient to death, death on a cross; therefore Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Jesus shows us trusting God, even until death, results in victory and in his case, dominion over all creation, such that all creation bows at the name of Jesus and he is Lord of all.
These days, we are deprived of physically receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus. But we can still unite ourselves with the private masses offered by our priests, where he remembers the Last Supper where Jesus takes the bread, blesses it, breaks it and gives it to his disciples as his Body and Blood. When we empty ourselves, our intellect, our emotions, our will to God, when our dreams crumble, and our hopes are crushed, we surrender them to Jesus. He takes them, blesses them, breaks them and gives them back to us, sanctified, full of the glory of the Son of God! Things may seem the same, but once we surrender them to Jesus, they are sanctified and transformed.
Our lives, our intellect, our emotions and will, our dreams and our hopes are no longer the same. We surrender them and we are called to receive what God has transformed: new life, new way of thinking, new commitment towards God. God gives us his dream for us instead of our shattered dreams. He builds something new from what we have planned. His dreams for us are infinitely better than those that were shattered. Come to God. Surrender all you have, surrender all your sins. Resolve not to sin again. Surrender all you are, because those who trust in God will not be put to shame.
Lord, I give you my heart, my soul, my shattered dreams, my life, my sins. I believe you hear me. Take them Lord, bless them, break them but give them back to me sanctified, so you can be glorified. In Jesus’ holy name.

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