March 28, 2018
by Larry Hopp
Creighton University's Energy Technology Department
click here for photo and information about the writer

Wednesday of Holy Week
Lectionary: 259

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

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The 1st Four Days of Holy Week - 14 min. - Text Transcript

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Preparing for Holy Thursday

Holy Week certainly turns our thoughts to a deeper level of reflection.  On this Wednesday we are drawn to the unthinkable betrayal of Jesus by Judas Iscariot.  How could he have responded to his Savior in this manner?

In today’s readings, we are led beyond the outrage of this betrayal to perhaps consider our lives and how we respond to our Savior.   Isaiah clearly reminds us that God has given to each of us all that we need to make a difference, to follow His lead.  We are given the words to speak to encourage those around us and the wisdom to hear and see the world around us as He sees it.   Even though we will constantly face challenges and hardships, we are reminded that God is our ever-present help.  How then could we be anything but confident in our response to Jesus’ calling?

Just in case we think our life should be without trial and tribulation, today’s Psalm reminds us that we can expect trouble, specifically the stronger our zeal for Jesus becomes.  While these assaults will often seem more than we can bear, we are reminded again and again that God understand and remains at our side to revive our broken hearts.

So what then is the message?  Is the mere existence of the evil we see in Judas Iscariot a simple fact of life, a fact further reinforced in the Psalm?   Perhaps the answer lies in the gospel of Matthew.  Mixed among the betrayal details, we find Jesus taking His disciples through the routine aspects of life, in this case the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  Even though Jesus was well aware of the evil and misery ahead, He was fully present with his disciples, taking care of the many details associated with the upcoming Passover.  During the meal, Jesus remained calm and attentive, from the washing of their feet to the announcement of the betrayal which was already underway.  While his disciples adamantly objected to this news – not unlike our response to all the things in our lives that do not go as we think they should – Jesus remained reassuringly at their side.  The outcome for the disciples was nothing like anything they could have imagined, yet, the salvation they (and we) received through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was far better than anything they could have imagined.  All they needed to do was to keep their focus upon Jesus and to never forget that he is ALWAYS at their side, every moment of every day.  May we grasp that simple truth in our response to Jesus.

Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me when I so easily resort to whining and complaining about the unpleasant and unfair challenges in my life.  I know that you are always with me and will never forsake me.  Your plans are ALWAYS better than anything I could ever develop on my own.  Help me to trust in You through all circumstances, to keep my eyes and heart forever focused upon You. 

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