Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Wednesday in Holy Week
Accepting the Truth that Sets Us Free

Readings: Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 69:8-10, 21-22, 31 and 33-34; Matthew 26:14-25

For my part, I made no resistance…

As is sometimes the case, our opening prayer today gives us a useful perspective on the readings. Father, in your plan of salvation your Son Jesus Christ accepted the cross and freed us from the power of the enemy. Jesus’ acceptance of the cross brings freedom. And the readings help us to meditate more deeply upon the significance of these words, especially upon the connection between acceptance and freedom.

In the first reading, the servant of God makes no resistance to the sufferings that befall him/her. But this acceptance of abuse is not a sign of weakness. It is the result neither of timidity nor of the lack of self-esteem. Instead, it springs from a basic disposition of openness and receptivity to the Truth, to all that God has to say. Each morning he wakes me to hear, to listen like a disciple. Rather than a symptom of masochism or self-hate, the servant’s submission to suffering is the fruit only of a willingness to face and acknowledge the Truth in every circumstance, and to bear the full consequences of this radical openness to Reality. And, of course, we see this disposition of the suffering servant mirrored in the way in which Jesus sets his face like flint to meet his Passion. In the face of certain death, he freely chooses not to escape, but to remain faithful to his Father, even to the extent of voluntarily journeying to Jerusalem when his time is near. In so doing, Jesus demonstrates for us the meaning of his words in John 8:32: If you keep my word, you will be my disciples, you will know the truth and the truth will make you free.

In contrast, Judas – and, to some extent, the other disciples as well – is unreceptive to the Truth. Unable to accept the course that Jesus has chosen, he betrays his Master. And his allergy to the Truth is such that he even seems unable to accept that he will be the one who will betray Jesus. Not I, Rabbi, surely? And in succumbing to allergy instead of choosing to accept the Truth, Judas remains a slave to the power of the enemy who, as the Lord tells us, is the father of lies (John 8:44).

Presented with this liturgical meditation, perhaps we might be led to reflect on our own relationship to Truth. To what extent are we aware and accepting of God’s voice in all that life presents to us, whether it be in the situations we encounter, or the people we meet, or our own reactions to these? To what extent are we allergic? These are important questions to ponder, for upon them depends our freedom, and that of the rest of our world.

1 comment:

  1. Society today holds up for us as examples of success individuals who have "made it", those who are famous, rich or powerful. The movers and shakers at every level of civic society: industrialistics, business people, entertainers, politicians, are people who have not only "made it", but to a large extent, "make" our lives and futures as well.

    The antithesis of all this is our Christian belief and values: humility, charity, hope, forgiveness, meekness ... Suffering servant?? What is that?

    This Holy Week, I ponder on the stark contrast between what I believe and hold dear, and what the world esteems. How do I cope with the tension between the two? Is there hope for ultimate victory?

    May the torrent of grace poured out on humanity this Holy Week be yours and mine as well.