Is. 49:1-6 Jn. 13:21-33, 36-38
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In looking at Lent, it can often seem like a long time. Forty days to focus on our spiritual life and prepare ourselves to celebrate the death and Resurrection of Christ. Now as we walk these last days of Holy Week, it is time to reflect on ways we have followed through with our resolutions to draw closer to the realization of how we are loved by God and forgiven for all our indiscretions. Today’s readings present a challenge to look at ourselves from different perspectives. In Isaiah, we are called before our birth to be a servant and we receive the promise that God is our strength. John discloses, at the Last Supper, Jesus being ‘deeply troubled,’ and the betrayal of Judas and Peter. The challenge of these readings is the acknowledgment that we are the chosen servant and Judas and Peter.
We all have been called to serve, love, and be for one another as Jesus so loved and put His trust in us. Think for a moment how your actions, attitudes, and conversations have given others a glimpse of God’s love. As you have lived these days, rejoice in the ways that you have deepened your relationship with Jesus and felt secure in your ministry. Think, too, when you feel troubled or distressed by our failings are you able to believe in God’s forgiveness and love? Can you continue to put your trust in God?
There are times when we, like Judas and Peter, end up betraying our relationship with God and loss sight of our call to live the gospel message. As we get lost in our own needs and wants we can begin to doubt our faith and even the purpose of life. We too can become ‘deeply troubled’ and despairing. Judas and Peter both made choices that caused them great anguish and grief. Judas that becoming lost in self-centeredness and the desire for recognition causes us to lose sight of faith and we make wrong decisions and choices. For Judas the realization of what he had done was so overwhelming that he could not believe in forgiveness or God’s unconditional love. Judas lost faith and hope that he could be forgiven and took his own life. Peter’s sin was that of being overconfident and making promises that he could not keep. Peter believed what he was saying and yet when it came time he betrayed Jesus. Peter wept when he realized his sinfulness and Jesus constant forgiveness and love. Out of our own fear, insecurity and anxiety choices were made that in hindsight were dishonest and depraved. Like Peter though, our faith is strong and we believe that Christ still loves, forgives, and is there to redeem us. We need to reflect and to learn and understand that through learning from our actions and living each new day as servants of Jesus, we will live in hope and journey with a confidence that God’s caring hand is present in our lives.
Pray to trust the journey God has chosen for you and believe that in God lies your strength to do his will.
Marilyn Lott, CSJ
Staff Chaplain Saint Louis University Hospital