Tuesday of Holy Week
Isaiah 49:1-6; John 13:21-33, 36-38
“I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength” (Is 49:4). The passion of the prophet echoes in these words. He was consumed by the fire of divine love and desired to inflame the chosen people with the same love. The Holy One of Israel called the prophet from his birth. He armed him with the sword of the Word which he wielded all the intensity of his heart. He called out to the people, but they rejected him. He offered them peace and reconciliation, but they rebuffed him. To the eyes of all who saw him, he seemed to labor in vain. But they did not see rightly because it was through his rejection that we were chosen. It was by his wounds that we were healed. It was in his defeat that God was victorious. Christ enlightens all who wander aimlessly in the valley of darkness and makes them members of his Body.
The Passion of Christ has made clear, death does not have the last word for those who sincerely pursue the path of holiness God has placed before all of us. The words of the prophet assure us that whatever our spiritual purpose may be, it will not be diminished or destroyed by the challenges of human life. Our ultimate Truth shines even through the appearances of defeat. In his Apostolic Exhortation, Pope Francis wrote: “We are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves”. The Word of God gives us a striking example of how the encounter with the gaze of Jesus can mark the most important moments in the life of a disciple. Christ has overcome evil with good. In the power of His resurrection He has assured his disciples of the victory of peace over everything that fans the flames of war: pride, greed, the lust for power, self-interest, lies, and hypocrisy Baptized into the Body of Christ, we are members of a prophetic community called to work for peace and justice, announcing the good news in word and deed.
Lord Jesus, what happened to you in the betrayal and denial of friends, will likely happen to us as well, as we try in our own frail way to collaborate in your mission of being a light to the nations. Help us to remain faithful under those disappointments and to trust that our small efforts to follow you will somehow fit your larger plan of the recreation of all things.