16 April 2019
Islands, listen to me,
pay attention, remotest peoples.
The Lord called me before I was born,
from my mother’s womb he pronounced my name.
He made my mouth a sharp sword,
and hid me in the shadow of his hand.
He made me into a sharpened arrow,
and concealed me in his quiver.
He said to me, ‘You are my servant (Israel)
in whom I shall be glorified’;
while I was thinking, ‘I have toiled in vain,
I have exhausted myself for nothing’;
and all the while my cause was with the Lord,
my reward with my God.
I was honoured in the eyes of the Lord,
my God was my strength.
And now the Lord has spoken,
he who formed me in the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him,
to gather Israel to him:
‘It is not enough for you to be my servant,
to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back the survivors of Israel;
I will make you the light of the nations
so that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.’
While at supper with his disciples, Jesus was troubled in spirit and declared, ‘I tell you most solemnly, one of you will betray me.’ The disciples looked at one another, wondering which he meant. The disciple Jesus loved was reclining next to Jesus; Simon Peter signed to him and said, ‘Ask who it is he means’, so leaning back on Jesus’ breast he said, ‘Who is it, Lord?’ ‘It is the one’ replied Jesus ‘to whom I give the piece of bread that I shall dip in the dish.’ He dipped the piece of bread and gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot. At that instant, after Judas had taken the bread, Satan entered him. Jesus then said, ‘What you are going to do, do quickly.’ None of the others at table understood the reason he said this. Since Judas had charge of the common fund, some of them thought Jesus was telling him, ‘Buy what we need for the festival’, or telling him to give something to the poor. As soon as Judas had taken the piece of bread he went out. Night had fallen.
When he had gone Jesus said:
and will glorify him very soon.
where I am going, you cannot come.’
Now has the Son of Man been glorified, and in him God has been glorified
Today we hear of the how and who was to betray Jesus. In fact, I believe that all of us would have betrayed Him before by sinning against Him. There are times also when we sin because of the glory that we want to attain for ourselves. Many times, it seems reasonable and fair that we are ‘rewarded’ for the hard work and hours of service that we have given to Christ. It seems that even after everything that we have done, instead of being appreciative, others merely feedback how we are not good enough.
It is difficult but, like Jesus, we need to once again understand our mission and who it is we are serving. Even after everything that Jesus had done for Judas, even after all the preaching and miracles that Judas had seen and heard first hand from Jesus, it wasn’t enough for Judas; he did not hesitate in betraying Jesus. Thus, we see the power of money, fame and pride that causes us to betray Jesus, that causes us to sin. It’s not just solely about the severity of the sin or betrayal, but we see that even Peter’s denial of Jesus is as equally hurtful and a sin itself. There are times when I’ve seen others comparing their sins, “at least my sin is not as bad as yours”, “you make me feel less of a sinner”, what should matter is that we have sinned against God and that is a betrayal in itself, regardless of how small or big it seems to be.
But the glory of Christ is different from the glory that man desires. We read of how God is glorified by the death of Jesus. How can something so painful, humiliating and so wrong be something that brings glory? The glory of Christ is such that even on the cross, Jesus cries to ask for forgiveness for all of us, for we do not know what we are doing. The glory is in accomplishing the mission that His Father has set for Him. The glory is in glorifying God.
God understands that in doing His mission, we will be persecuted, misunderstood, even at times humiliated and He knows because He himself has gone through such. He promises us, as in the first reading, that He has a plan for each and every one of us and that He is with us each step of the way. May we always be aware of His presence among us, to listen to his voice, that in all things that we do and say, it is for His glory and His glory alone. Amen.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Benjamin Mao)
Prayer: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Jesus, for teaching us Your way, what it means to love and forgive. Thank you for showing us the way. May we strive and learn to be like you, glorying Our Father in all that we say and do.