Tuesday of Holy Week
April 7, 2020
Ps 71:1-6, 15, 17
John 13:21-33, 36-38
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
Peter said to him,
“Master, why can I not follow you now?
I will lay down my life for you.”
Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me?
Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow
before you deny me three times.”
Today’s readings focus on the glorification and reward of Jesus as a suffering servant on this Earth. Prophet Isaiah Prophesies the reward and glory which Jesus is going to receive when he is going to join the Father and Holy spirit and it will be too little for him to become a servant to accomplish the Salvation on this Earth because he is with the Father and Holy spirit and does not have any limitation as he had when he was in the World as human being.
I want to reflect upon Peter and Jesus Prophesy on his betrayal. These readings have taken during the Holy Week so that the reader may reflect these readings and put himself before Jesus and have an dialogue with Jesus in his own life. Jesus is living among us and when we start interacting with him through his Word or Spirit , he manifests his presence in us and encounters us on the matter in which we were reflecting upon and starts to talk to us in a Spiritual language which our Spirit can understand and respond. When we read the Word of God or read any reflection , let us note down two things 1. What I said to God 2. What God said to me. If we do not have these two things in our reflection or dialogue our meeting with God is incomplete or some one is absent in this meeting.
Dialogue happens with two people , one person talks and another responds , if we do not have the response from God and if we only talk , then it is like one way talk and not a dialogue . God waits for us to speak to him and he speaks more than we do but we must pause in our talking and listen to him. Listening to Jesus is the greatest gift on this Earth because all things in our life start from these listening s , if we are not attentive then we can not hear him, it is not that he is not responding but there is so much noise and talking of ours , we fail to listen to our Master the Words of eternal life.
Let us reflect upon Peter who starts to talk to Jesus about his trust and faithfulness. Peter expressed his feelings to Jesus of his discipleship , Jesus responds Peter on his Weakness of betrayal. Jesus also Prophesies the betrayal of Judas . Man has been betraying God and trespassing his commands from our first Parents. The betrayal is in our genes , everyone betray Jesus in one way or the other. It is not only Peter or Judas but all the disciples betrayed Jesus as their Master because no one had a courage to stand before the High Priests and Pilate to defend him. When Jesus died on the Cross, everyone who encountered him in their life felt the feeling of betrayal and lived in disappointment. They relented for their betrayal but did not repent . Judas and Pilate also relented for their betrayal but did not repent for their Sin.
As we reflect upon this passage , let us ask ourselves , is our justification as a Christian is just a impulsive feeling or a commitment of love. Jesus does not look at our words or notes but our heart. If we do not rend our hearts and only tear garments , our reward for our action is zero because we have not done what God looks in our lives. God is calling us in the Holy Week not to be impulsive or obligatory or money minded Christians like his Disciples before his death but Christians who were bold , fearless and ready to lay their life for the love and commandments of God like the same Disciples on the day of Pentecost.
Every Year we go through a confession of Obligation to prepare our hearts for Risen Lord but this year we have an opportunity to repent our Sins to God and with each other.It is a good practice to list down all our offences in a piece of Paper and ask forgiveness with our Lord and then ask forgiveness with each other. We betray God by betraying our Neighbor , so we must reconcile and make peace with People whom we have hurt or offended or not forgiven and then go to God for absolution. God’s Absolution is open to everyone who approaches him which is available free in the air but Jesus puts one condition to the free absolution , if you forgive and ask pardon with your neighbor whom you have sinned by default you are absolved from your sins.
There is a Theology of reconciliation hidden here , Jesus becomes a Priest in the form of our offender or Victim and absolves us as that person forgives us. There is no sin on this Earth where we do not offend our Neighbor so it is very important to examine our Conscience to realize how our sin has offended our Neighbor and identify our neighbor. This is the perfect confession which we require in our life , St. Peter did this kind of confession by shedding his tears and acknowledged his unworthiness but Judas and Pilate relented their betrayal and Sin but did not repent for their Sin.
I am trying to recall all the People whom I have offended this year and make list of their name and during my quiet time offer them to Jesus and say following prayer “ In the name of Jesus… Name … I forgive you.. In the Name of Jesus I love you… 3 times. Then call up that person and make peace with him or her. This process looks difficult but life transforming Confession which we need in this Holy Week and the time of this Pandemic where the Lord calling us again and again for repentance. Let us not relent for our Sins but truly Repent for them our Lord and one another.