It is 27th 2018. The readings are from Isaiah 49:1-6; and the Gospel from John 13:21-33, 36-38. God has called us for a mission and to be the light of the people. The Lord wants to preach for him near and far and to be the witnesses of love and truth before people. The first reading from Isaiah is the second oracle concerning the Servant. The Servant speaks in his own name and God applauds him for having chosen from the very conception to accomplish the plan of God. The Servant is offered the divine assistance and he is reserved for the work of God. At time the Servant is tired and discouraged and feels that the labour of his hands is in vain but in eyes of God, it is fruitful. Even though the servant is righteous yet suffers and humiliated by the people around. God recognises the righteousness in the Servant. God wishes the Servant to be the ‘light to the nations’ (Is.49:6) and ‘covenant to the people’ (Is.49:8) not as betrayers and one denies. God has given a mandate to bring back the scattered people. “I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” (Is.49:6). The responsorial Psalm praises, “I will sing of your salvation.” (Ps.71:15). The Gospel presents us with the Last Supper scene. The common meal time is time of bonding and for relationship. But in the meal Jesus offered, He specifically mentioned about the betrayal than bonding. Two of His closest disciples would betray Him; one for money and another for fear of life. The shadow of darkness unfolds even in such intimate and perfect manifestation of Jesus’ love shown to them. Jesus was truly pained by the act of betrayal from Judas. Satan in Judas hated Jesus to the point of annihilating Him to the most humiliating death. We can never know the plan of God. Be assured that when we are treated so badly and abused by our own kith and kin, God is with us to support us and recognises us our struggle to be true and honest till the end. Are we disappointed with Jesus like that of Judas expecting Him to be the political Messiah or want to have a business out of Jesus that leads to greed for money? Would we hand over Jesus over money and greed? We too can fail God and betray the Lord when the accusers and abusers are too many in number and when we feel feeble and tired of the cares of the world. Peter failed to pay attention to the warning of Jesus about his denial while boasting himself and his willingness to sacrifice himself for Jesus. Yet at the end, Peter loved Jesus and return to the love of Jesus. We too need be humble like that of Peter and work on our boasting and pride that leads us to deny Him. The option is open for everyone of us: would we be like the Suffering Servant of Yahweh or like that of Judas and Peter? It is up to us to make the decision. Our denials and betrayals hurt the Lord and the Church and even it could destroy them to the core. On the second day of the Holy Week, let us make the choice in favour of the Lord and Church to be the suffering Servant. May you have a good day.

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