23rd March Daily Readings and Reflection

The Passion of Jesus Christ sculpture

First Reading: From the Book of Isaiah 50:4-9

Vrs4 Lord Yahweh has given me a disciple’s tongue, for me to know how to give a word of comfort to the weary. Morning by morning he makes my ear alert to listen like a disciple.

Vrs5 Lord Yahweh has opened my ear and I have not resisted, I have not turned away.

Vrs6 I have offered my back to those who struck me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; I have not turned my face away from insult and spitting.

Vrs7 Lord Yahweh comes to my help, this is why insult has not touched me, this is why I have set my face like flint and know that I shall not be put to shame.

Vrs8 He who grants me saving justice is near! Who will bring a case against me? Let us appear in court together! Who has a case against me? Let him approach me!

Vrs9 Look, Lord Yahweh is coming to my help! Who dares condemn me? Look at them, all falling apart like moth-eaten clothes!

 


Responsorial Psalm: From Psalms 69:8-10, 21-22, 31, 33-34

Vrs8 I am estranged from my brothers, alienated from my own mother’s sons;

Vrs9 for I am eaten up with zeal for your house, and insults directed against you fall on me.

Vrs10 I mortify myself with fasting, and find myself insulted for it,

Vrs21 To eat they gave me poison, to drink, vinegar when I was thirsty.

Vrs22 May their own table prove a trap for them, and their abundance a snare;

Vrs31 for this will please Yahweh more than an ox, than a bullock horned and hoofed.

Vrs33 For God listens to the poor, he has never scorned his captive people.

Vrs34 Let heaven and earth and seas, and all that stirs in them, acclaim him!

 


Gospel: From the Gospel Account of Saint Matthew 26:14-25

Vrs14 Then one of the Twelve, the man called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests

Vrs15 and said, ‘What are you prepared to give me if I hand him over to you?’ They paid him thirty silver pieces,

Vrs16 and from then onwards he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.

Vrs17 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus to say, ‘Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?’

Vrs18 He said, ‘Go to a certain man in the city and say to him, “The Master says: My time is near. It is at your house that I am keeping Passover with my disciples.” ‘

Vrs19 The disciples did what Jesus told them and prepared the Passover.

Vrs20 When evening came he was at table with the Twelve.

Vrs21 And while they were eating he said, ‘In truth I tell you, one of you is about to betray me.’

Vrs22 They were greatly distressed and started asking him in turn, ‘Not me, Lord, surely?’

Vrs23 He answered, ‘Someone who has dipped his hand into the dish with me will betray me.

Vrs24 The Son of man is going to his fate, as the scriptures say he will, but alas for that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! Better for that man if he had never been born!’

Vrs25 Judas, who was to betray him, asked in his turn, ‘Not me, Rabbi, surely?’ Jesus answered, ‘It is you who say it.’

Reflection:

In the First reading we saw an ancient description of Jesus’ suffering many centuries before he came to the world. The prophet Isaiah relayed the description as it was revealed to him by the Lord God. The whole description showcased the sufferings of Jesus Christ and his endurance which he have called us all into. Christ bore those pains in-order that we might be made whole again (just as many of us are privileged to become today, and some are yet to). He was mocked, bullied, spat on, and disgraced just that you and I might gain reconciliation with God.
Jesus, for us accepted without complains to be condemned by his own people, for our salvation:

The Psalmist said:

“for I am eaten up with zeal for your house, and insults directed against you fall on me” – Psalm 69:6

Christ is so consumed with the burning desire to have you and I sitting at the right-hand of the Father with Him when all have been said and done here on Earth, no matter the cost. That was why he never defended himself against the entire calamity that befell him at His death. Yes! He was blinded to the sufferings by his love for you and I, because he is certain of a greater glory it will attract at the end.

“I have offered my back to those who struck me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; I have not turned my face away from insult and spitting.
Lord Yahweh comes to my help, this is why insult has not touched me, and this is why I have set my face like flint and knows that I shall not be put to shame.” –Isaiah 50: 6-7

He was bold to step to his painful death that was why he never blinked even at what he knows was going to be his last meal on earth; He still spoke with confidence about His death.

 

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