Tuesday of Holy Week
The readings for each of the days in the first half of Holy Week place us on the edge, the rift, the tipping point. There is a sharp disconnect between light and darkness; betrayal and constancy; death and glorification. Today, in particular, there is a sharp turn at the very center of things. The first reading is full of promise as we read Isaiah foreshadowing Jesus, not just a Servant of God, but a Light to the Nations, the One who brings salvation. The Psalm takes up the refrain of trust in God’s rock-solid protection.
And then, with these glorious words still ringing in our ears, the Gospel opens with Judas’s betrayal. It is as if Jesus too has these words ringing in His ears as the fateful events are set in motion and the inexorable path to Calvary beckons. “And it was night.” At the edge of the coming night, He speaks very little of betrayal – both by Judas and by Peter – but speaks instead of the promised glory. Though “deeply troubled” by the betrayal by His friends and by the events to come, Jesus seems to possess an inner calm, based on the confidence that the God who has formed Him from the womb will be an unfailing support and will fulfill the promise.
We too, must ultimately face our death. And in the meantime, life often brings fears, betrayals, and pain. Let us learn from Jesus to keep our focus on the glory of life and God’s promise to be with us always.
“In you, O Lord I take refuge…Be my rock of refuge;
A stronghold to give me safety, for You are my rock and my fortress.” (Ps.71 1;3)
O Lord, grant that, even in dark times of pain and betrayal, we may find the strength to move forward with the promise of glory ringing in our ears and confidence in God our Father/Mother in our hearts.
Zsuzanna Kadas, Professor of Mathematics
First Reading: Isaiah 49:1-6
Psalm 71:1-4a, 5-6ab, 15, 17
Gospel: John 13:21-33, 36-38
Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website