Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scriptures and as we move even closer to the beginning of the sacred Easter Triduum, we are reminded of the important events that had happened when the Lord went through His Passion, betrayed by one of His own, persecuted and rejected by His own people, and condemned to suffer and die like a terrible criminal, nailed to the Cross, all for our sake and for our salvation.
In our first reading today, we continue to hear the discourse of the Servant of God in which we are brought to focus our attention on the Servant Whom God had sent into this world, to be the One through Whom God would deliver all of His people, all of mankind and reconcile with them, gathering them all back in from being scattered throughout the world. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Saviour, Son of God Most High, therefore God endeavoured to bring His salvation to us, fulfilling all the promises He had made to us through the prophets.
In our Gospel passage today, we heard then of the moments of the Last Supper when the Lord had the Passover meal with His disciples, and a mention was made of the moment earlier on when Judas Iscariot, the disciple who were to betray the Lord, plotted with the chief priests to hand Him over to them, on the price of thirty pieces of silver. This happened before the Last Supper as on the day of the Last Supper itself, the deed had been done, and that very night of the Last Supper, the Lord was arrested at the Gardens of Gethsemane.
In this occasion, as we heard of the account of the Last Supper, where the Lord again revealed how He would very soon suffer and endure bitter persecution and torture at the hands of His enemies, and how His own disciples and followers would abandon Him and all be scattered, we heard the disciples then saying that they all would never abandon Him and some like St. Peter even said to the extent that they would give their lives for Him.
But the reality was that all those same disciples were shaken deeply when the Lord was betrayed by none other than one of their own, all the more because Judas the betrayer was counted among the Lord’s inner circle. They were all overcome with fear and their courage left them, and even St. Peter wavered, denying the Lord publicly not just once, but a total of three times before the dawn broke, and St. Peter was overcome with regret, sorrow and anguish.
The Lord has shown us that when we try to depend on our own human strength, or depend on the many worldly things we possess, from money to material possessions, to our connections and various other resources in life, we will not be able to sustain ourselves, and eventually will break and fall apart, just as what had happened to Judas Iscariot, who allowed himself to be tempted by money and Satan’s false promises and lies.
Or like that of St. Peter, who thought that his strength was enough for him to persevere on his own, just as he militantly tried to show strength by saying that he would even give his life for the Lord, and even later on, cutting the ears of the High Priest’s servant Malchus. But when everything fell apart all around him, and seeing his Lord and Master being arrested, humiliated and condemned, he lost his courage and wavered in faith, leading to his thrice denial of the Lord.
That is why we are all called today to turn our attention towards the Lord, to entrust ourselves to the Lord and to have faith in Him, just as the Lord Jesus Himself prayed to His heavenly Father, while He was in full agony in the Gardens of Gethsemane. He did not give in to despair and temptations to abandon His Passion, and instead, went on full ahead, willingly bearing the Cross for our sake, and even after being scourged, humiliated and fell three times, He kept on going up again and again, all for the love of us.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, we should look upon the Lord’s own example, and be inspired to hold faith firmly in Him, entrusting ourselves to Him because we all know that while everything else, material and any other worldly things, and even people and relationship, power and worldly glory may fail, but the Lord and His love for us will never fail. This is the love that stood the test of time, and which allowed Him to suffer even unto His death on the Cross.
Let us all therefore strive to be ever more dedicated and faithful in this Holy Week, the time of reconciliation and rediscovery of our faith and love for God. Let us all turn towards God with a new heart, no longer filled by greed and worldly desires, by pride and ego, but by real and genuine desire to love the Lord with all of our strength, and by our desire to be reconciled with Him through repentance from our sinful ways.
May God bless us all, now and always, and may He guide us through life, and help us to grow ever more in faith, and be ever closer to Him, that one day we may be truly worthy to walk with Him together in His heavenly grace. Amen.