40 Shades of Lent by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Holy Tuesday, 30 March 2021 Isaiah 49:1-6 ><}}}*> John 13:21-33, 36-38
Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength, yet my reward is with the Lord, my recompense is with my God. (Isaiah 49:4)
So many times, dear Father in heaven, I feel like your “Suffering Servant” feeling that nothing is happening with all my efforts, with things I persevere, as if they are all useless until I realize what matters most is my being faithful to you.
Thank you for the sign of the Cross of Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord and Master: when things become so difficult and frustrating for me, I just look at him there on the cross, “dead” like me who had failed in your mission.
But as I contemplate his Cross, I remember how before all my sadness and sufferings, Jesus was there first for me to be good with others, to be kind, to be understanding, to be merciful and forgiving, to be patient, and most of all, first to be holy in being faithful to you and your call, Father.
Remind me the words of St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta that we are called to be faithful, not successful.
Let me focus more on you, Lord, instead of wondering how I have been doing, how good I have been.
Let me stop competing with others, asking who is not faithful to you, who is going to betray you like Peter during the last supper when he told the beloved disciple to clarify it with Jesus:
He leaned back against Jesus' chest and said to him, "Master, who is it?" (John 13:25)
How lovely is the context of that question when what we must contemplate with is whether we have been faithful to Jesus in his Holy Eucharist.
How sad, O dear Father, that we are most unfaithful to you when we betray you right in the Eucharist – when do not listen to your words and message to us, when we do not live and practice the essence of thanksgiving to you by being faithful in witnessing Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross in our daily lives. Amen.