April 6 Reflection by Deacon Kurt

Monday April 6, 2020

Isaiah 42:1-7

John 12:1-11

Here we are at the beginning of Holy Week!! Lent is coming to an end. Easter is a week away. His time is quickly approaching. Jesus was hailed as he rode into Jerusalem yesterday with cheers of “hallelujah” only to have those shouting change to “crucify him” just a few days later. How quickly things can change. Our world has literally been changing by the day, sometimes by the hour. Today’s readings can offer us some hope as, through Jesus, we see the embodiment of Isaiah’s Suffering Servant. And true to His description, we witness a symbolic anointing of Jesus in preparation of His burial. Suffering to the end. But if we look closely at Jesus actions as His Passion approaches, we see a man consumed with love, love for those He is leaving behind to fulfill His mission, love for those who brutalized and put Him to death and love for those (us) the future generations. 

If we look at Isaiah and Christ’s Passion, we don’t see Jesus as angry, vengeful, hateful, but the opposite, loving, gentle, compassionate. A smoldering wick he shall not quench (Isaiah 42:3) The disciple faith was shaken, but Jesus did not reject them. He led them to Galilee and restored them. A bruised reed He shall not break (Isaiah 42:3) Jesus had His ups and downs with Peter all the time up until the very end with Peter’s denial. Yet Jesus didn’t focus on Peter’s weaknesses but his strengths and He gave him the keys to the Church. Not crying out, not shouting (Isaiah 42:2) When being questioned by Pilate and accused by the crowd, Jesus stood silent and allowed Himself to be wrongfully condemned. [Portions of this paragraph borrowed from The Word Among Us.]

Our lives are challenging right now, being cooped up at home most of the time. And when we do go out, it’s so easy to get angry, annoyed, perturbed with how things are: waiting in line, people moving at a slower pace, streets pretty much empty but you get stuck behind the one guy driving 10 miles under the speed limit. It’s all just so different, when will it get back to normal? Is that what the Jews of Jesus’ time were asking? Once he’s gone it will all go back to normal. Once the virus is gone will it all go back to normal? But the world was never the same after Jesus lived and died. After this Lent we’ve had, in a world so different than what we are used to, will our worlds moving forward be different? What has our preparation for Holy Week been like? More intense or less than normal? As I said last week, the onus has been on us to find those ways to grow closer to Jesus, to those we love. St Raphael will be live streaming on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, The Easter Vigil (Saturday evening) and Easter Sunday. What an opportunity we have to witness Jesus up close and personal, to feel the love He shares in His final days and last moments. If He can love in those harshest of times, so can we.

 As Jesus lived the example of the Suffering Servant, let us live the example of Jesus. In all of His suffering and confusion, Jesus acted out of love. In all of our sorrows and lack of control, may we let love guide our actions.