The first reading at Mass today speaks to us in the context of Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week, the week that we keep marking the Passion of the Lord, and that culminates in the week’s 8th Day, Easter Day, a Day that lasts 50 days – a week of weeks, stretching to Pentecost.
The first reading today speaks of Jesus as the faithful disciple, whose faithfulness is sustained despite the worst others can do to him.
The Lord has given me
a disciple’s tongue.
So that I may know how to reply to the wearied
he provides me with speech.
Each morning he wakes me to hear,
to listen like a disciple.
The Lord has opened my ear.
For my part, I made no resistance,
neither did I turn away.
I offered my back to those who struck me,
my cheeks to those who tore at my beard;
I did not cover my face
against insult and spittle.
The Lord comes to my help,
so that I am untouched by the insults.
So, too, I set my face like flint;
I know I shall not be shamed.
As we hear the reading express the faithfulness of Jesus, the faithful disciple, servant-King, we are invited surely to wonder how true the sentiments are about ourselves, disciples here and now, and tested in all sorts of ways.
The coming week gives us many opportunities to reflect on our relationship to Jesus and our faithfulness to our vocations and service of the world. Our fault and failines we can bring to the Lord’s cross in sorrow, our successes we can bring to him too, as trophies that he has won in his victory over sin and death, enabling us to do our best.
- What joys and sorrows do you bring to this Holy Week?
- For what will you ask the Lord? For yourself? For others?
Detail of Crucifixion in Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Carving by Stephen Foster. (c) 2016, Allen Morris