Isaiah 49:1-6; John 13:21-33, 36-38
The early days of Holy Week are such a combination of anticipation and fearfulness of what is to come. We’ve had the weeks of Lent to prepare and we’re ready for Easter, yet we’re not. I’ve tried to live up to my Lenten resolutions – on some days with more enthusiasm than others. Today’s reading from Isaiah reminds me that God knows of my struggles: “Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength. Yet my reward is with the Lord, my recompense with God.” The beautiful words and images in that reading help me feel protected and loved, help to reduce my own fearfulness at falling short.
The Gospel touches me deeply because I can feel how troubled Jesus is. I, too, know what is to come and see the beginnings played out around the table. I feel His sadness at knowing the betrayals of Judas and Peter, yet he is still patient with the apostles, who, at this point always seem to me to be so oblivious to what’s going on. Haven’t they been following this man? Haven’t they been listening? I realize that I, too, am dim. I would like to think that I would get it, that I wouldn’t be Peter. Those same questions can be asked of me: Haven’t I been following this man? Haven’t I been listening?
I know that God won’t abandon me, that I have not toiled in vain. My prayer today is to ask God to open my eyes, my ears and my heart. Help me to be brave, to be strong and to be there for others.
By Carol Zuegner