Lenten Reflection for Tuesday, March 27, 2018, Holy Week
Isaiah 49: 1-6; Psalm 71: 1-6, 15 and 17, John 13: 21-33, 36-38, http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/032718.cfm
Reflection by Michael Budniak H’11
As I box up and organize my accumulated trove of “stuff” for a move this weekend, I am conscious of the sometimes-funny looks and stares I get carrying armloads of swords to and from the car, or the mannequin on which my chainmail vest lives. I don’t anticipate any problems with home defense or surviving the zombie apocalypse from my new home. But here I am now reading the passage from Isaiah, with a chuckle of irony that all the steel in my possession means nothing compared to the strength I have under God’s guidance as His servant. I think I like that role a lot better. And a lot less messy to contemplate, too.
The Gospel today speaks of betrayal. Of trusted friends and those closest to Christ falling away or being unable to follow Him. What a lonely, sad ending for a group that had weathered storms of controversy from so many over the years. I think of the isolation that Jesus must have been feeling at this point, knowing the journey He was about to take consisted of pain, suffering, humiliation and rejection. But knowing that journey was for the greater good of all of us who would come after, if only we choose to believe. And we don’t have to do it alone.
As this Lenten season draws to a close with Easter Sunday, perhaps it might be a great idea to look at how many people we have in our lives that are just the opposite of betrayal and desertion. How many people whose lives touch ours and we touch theirs to lift up, to help, to stand by and to strengthen. We are all better people because of an incalculable wealth that flows through the people around us, both those we know and those we may not at all.
Christ’s message has always been one of hope. Let’s share this hope with others this week, awaiting the joy of rebirth on Sunday!
God, as a part of this time of denial and reflection, please let us remember that we are surrounded by all of Your children in a web of interconnections, not alone or lonely, but part of something much larger than just ourselves. Please help us see in others all that we can be for them as well.