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Tuesday of Holy Week

April 19, 2011

Blessed Tuesday!

Father, may we receive Your forgiveness and mercy
as we celebrate the Passion and Death of the Lord,
Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(Opening Prayer for today’s Mass)

Readings:
Isaiah 49:1-6 (God has prepared His servant for a mission to the whole world)
Psalm 71:1-6, 17 “I will sing of Your salvation”
+John 13: 21-33, 36-38 (Jesus predicts Judas’ betrayal & Peter’s denial)

I am made glorious in the sight of the Lord
and my God is now my strength
-Isaiah 49:5

Now is the Son of Man glorified
and God is glorified in Him
-John 13:31

God has quite a different idea of glory than we do!

I can’t think of anybody else on earth who would say,
“Now I have been glorified”
because one of their inner circle was in the process of betraying them.

Yet it fits rather well with the prophesy from Isaiah,
in which God’s servant,
who thought of himself as a failure

I thought I had toiled in vain,
and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength
-Isaiah 49:4

…says that he has been made glorious,
a light to the ends of the earth (see Isaiah 49:5, 6).

Jesus knew that God’s plan was unfolding right on schedule, despite appearances.
His Hour had finally come (see John 2:4, 7:30, 8:20, 12:23).
His glory was in resolutely fulfilling the mission His Father had entrusted to Him,
–a mission divinely designed to bring light and salvation to the whole world (see Isaiah 49:6)–
no matter what the cost.
That glory began with an intimate betrayal…
and came to its climax on a tree.

This is what we can expect.
As members of His Body, the Church (see Ephesians 6:29-32),
we have been incorporated into His mission
–a mission divinely designed to bring light and salvation to the whole world–

Go into the whole world
and proclaim the gospel to every creature.
He who believes and is Baptized will be saved.
-Mark 16:15-16

Our glory is in our unshakable fulfillment of that mission,
no matter what the cost,
and God is working everything together for our good
–for our glory
despite appearances (see Romans 8:18-28).
Everything is unfolding right on schedule.

It’s true that not all of us are “on the front lines,” as it were
–although some of us would be if we accepted the opportunities God’s given us.
But in one way or another,
all of us have been entrusted with the powerful vocation of suffering,
following closely in the bloody footprints of our betrayed, brutalized Savior,
filling up in our bodies (and hearts!) what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ
for the sake of His Body, the Church (see Colossians 1:24).
This is glorious!, if only we will put it toward the mission,
if only we will offer it to God in union with Jesus’ sacrifice for the salvation of the world.

The next time something goes wrong,
the next time you feel betrayed, or like a failure, or suffer in any way,
offer it to God with full knowledge that Jesus’ words apply to you:
Now is the son (daughter) of man glorified
and God is glorified in him (her–see John 13:31).

No, we can’t see it yet…
but we will!
and it’s nonetheless true for being veiled for a time.

You may for a time have to suffer the distress of many trials…
rejoice with inexpressible joy touched with glory
because you are achieving faith’s goal, your salvation
-I Peter 1:6, 8

Blessed are you when you are insulted for the sake of Christ,
for then God’s Spirit in its glory has come to rest on you
-I Peter 4:14

Throughout this Holy Week,

let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus,
Who inspires and perfects our faith.
Who, for the sake of the joy set before Him,
endured the cross, heedless of its shame.
-Hebrews 12:2

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