Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Reflection for Wednesday, April 16, 2014

WEDNESDAY OF HOLY WEEK
IS 50: 4-9A
PS 69: 8-10, 21-22, 31 and 33-34
MT 26: 14-25

INTRODUCTION
Welcome to the final day of Lent, 2014, "Spy Wednesday," remembering the day Judas asked, "What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?"

In the composition of place, we read the third song of the Suffering Servant, perhaps even experiencing the acceptance, the surrender and the peace Jesus feels. We can also sense the betrayal, the pain, of His day as we go through our own lives, our own days…

Spy Wednesday can be an appropriate day to pray the Stations of the Cross, if we haven’t already done so.

The readings of the day certainly speak for themselves as we enter the Triduum, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, all leading us to the triumph and fulfillment of Easter Sunday.

Have a blessed Easter, all the better because of a blessed Lent.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.
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REFLECTION
Giving something up notwithstanding, Lent is more about giving in…giving more…entering more deeply…preparing for all that is to come…making ourselves ready, with the grace of God…for the grace of God.

We read in Isaiah that, despite the betrayal and suffering, The Lord GOD is my help, therefore I am not disgraced… We pray in the Responsorial Psalm, with the hope and confidence of the psalmist, beseeching, Lord, in your great love, answer me.  We learn in the Gospel about Judas, the betrayer of Jesus.

Lent, briefly and to the point, is the time we can start doing what God calls us to do, only doing it better than we did it before.  So rather than simply focusing on what we gave up, we can pray in gratitude about what are becoming.  We can be grateful for the confidence, and the courage, and the strength to live in the promises of God and the hope of the Kingdom…we can with increasing confidence, answer the Baptismal questions.. 
                        Do you reject sin so as to live in the freedom of God’s children?
                   Do you reject the glamour of evil and refuse to be mastered by sin?

Isn’t Lent also, primarily, a time for us to reconcile--with ourselves, with others, and, mostly, with God?
The 35th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus, in Challenges to our Mission Today, charges us Jesuits, As servants of Christ’s mission we are invited to assist him as he sets right our relationships with God, with other human beings, and with creation. (GC35, n. 62)   Lent is a good time to look at how we respond to that invitation.  This type of preparation and examination seems much more than giving up something.

We can accept more fully the gift we’re being offered, and enter more fully into the opportunities we have been given, to live life abundantly in accordance with what our Lord has given us.

Have a blessed Triduum, as together we prepare to celebrate joyfully the mysteries of our salvation during this Holy Week, and look forward to a bright Easter.
                                                                       
Have a blessed Easter.  God bless you…

Fr. Paul Stark, S.J. is Vice President of Mission and Ministry.

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