40 Shades of Lent by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Holy Monday, 29 March 2021 Isaiah 42:1-7 ><}}}*> John 12:1-11
Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am well pleased, upon whom I have put my spirit; he shall bring forth justice to the nations, not crying out, not shouting, not making his voice heard in the street. A bruised reed he shall not break, and a smoldering wick he shall not quench. (Isaiah 42:1-3)
On this Holy Monday of our holiest week, we pray to you, O God, for gentleness for us to be holy like your “Suffering Servant” according to Prophet Isaiah and fulfilled in your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
In this world saturated in a cacophony of many voices and noises competing to be heard in the various social media platforms, teach us to be gentle, to never view ourselves better than someone else when we would rather be silent to listen more, “not crying out, not shouting, not making our voices heard in the street.”
In this world where “size always matters” while power is always expressed in force and violence, teach us to be gentle with them who are actually weak and soft inside, even broken like the reed or a smoldering wick.
Teach us holiness in gentleness through Jesus Christ who showed us the path to real power is in weakness, that instead of asserting superiority, we would rather help others to assert their innate goodness especially when the weak come forward to express their gentleness too like Mary who poured oil and perfume on his feet.
Give us the grace to dwell today on his words, “Leave her alone. Let her keep this for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me” (Jn.12:7-8).
O how foolish we can be, dear Father, to miss this essential truth that we can only love the poor in you and through Jesus your Son. Take away that attitude of Judas Iscariot among us of “thinking the poor” yet always feeling superior to them, even to Jesus our Lord!
Make us gentle in our thoughts and in our words, most especially in our actions so that everyone may feel your gentle mercy and compassion in Christ. Amen.