Wednesday, 8 April 2020 : Wednesday of Holy Week (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, traditionally as indicated in the Gospel passage of the day, the Church remembers the moment when Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus, went to the Temple to collude with the elders and the chief priests that he might betray and hand Him over to them. It was at this moment which Judas Iscariot received the thirty pieces of silver in exchange for his betrayal of the Lord, as we are preparing ourselves heart and mind for the coming of the Easter Triduum.

As prophesied in the Book of the prophet Isaiah, part of which is our first reading today, the Lord had to suffer, that He as the Saviour of the world had to go through much pain and great difficulties because of His commitment to bring to us His salvation and grace. The prophet Isaiah spoke of this suffering Servant of God, to Whom the Lord would give all the punishments and sufferings due for us, that He might suffer them all instead of us. And yet, He would neither protest or grumble against this, as it was by His own desire and will that He had taken up His Cross and suffer for our sake.

But through these events which we commemorate during this Holy Week and the upcoming Easter Triduum, we are called to reflect on the wonderful love by which God had redeemed us and liberated us from the certainty of death and sin. God has willingly endured the worst of indignities and humiliations, to be treated like a servant and slave, and even less than a human being, as He was arrested, treated with such terrible and harsh treatment from all those who persecuted Him, sent to the Romans to be sentenced to death on the Cross.

The Lord has endured all of these for us because He genuinely loves us all. As St. Paul said, that no one would be willing to suffer and die for another person, unless that person is indeed very virtuous and good, and perhaps if that person is truly beloved and dear to us. And even in that case, many of us are likely to think twice, thrice if not more, before we commit ourselves in such a total manner, in giving of ourselves to the other person. Yet, this is what the Lord had done for each and every one of us, even when we are still sinners and still disobedient and wicked in His sight.

And that is just how wonderful God’s love for us is, how magnanimous He has been to us, and how generous and compassionate He is in His merciful ways, that He is willing to forgive us our sins and in fact He wants to be reconciled with us through that forgiveness. But forgiveness and reconciliation cannot truly happen without that commitment and desire from us to seek reconciliation and forgiveness for our sins and shortcomings.

We also have to realise that for every sins we have committed, we are no better than Judas Iscariot who had betrayed the Lord for the gain of money and for his own selfish purposes. The devil tempted him just as he had tempted us with various temptations, and we have fallen just as Judas had fallen into sin. When we sin, no matter whether that sin be great or small, we are still betraying the Lord for our own various selfish desires and wants in life. We should therefore spend some time thinking about all these as we are about to enter into the great mystery of the Easter Triduum beginning tomorrow.

Now, as we are also currently still struggling from the terrible worldwide pandemic that is still causing many deaths and many more people to suffer everywhere in the world, perhaps it is indeed the best time for us to focus our attention away from all the fears, uncertainties and darkness present all around us now, and focus our attention instead on God and His light. There is hope for us in God, and if we put our trust and hope in Him rather than in any human and worldly solace, we will surely gain consolation and strength amidst this difficult time.

And as Christians, we are all called to be more Christ-like in our lives, in how we live our lives from now on and especially during these difficult moments. Rather than being selfish as how Judas Iscariot had been selfish, causing hurt and sufferings to others by our own attitudes and behaviours, let us instead show love, care and compassion to our fellow brethren. If we see someone around us who is in need of love and hope, let us bring these to him or her.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all enter into the glorious Easter Triduum with a new heart of love, and with a renewed faith in Our Lord and Saviour. Let us all devote more of our time and focus on Him our attention, placing our hope in Him in the midst of these dark and uncertain times. Let us be the bearers of His light in our world, that we may brighten the lives of others who are struggling, sorrowful and are in difficulties. Let us empathise with them and share with them God’s generous love, which He has so generously poured onto us, by His sacrifice on the Cross. May God bless us always, now and forevermore. Amen.

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