Tuesday, March 30, 2021

..I Will Lay Down .. †


Pain of Betrayal

There is a poignant passage in the Servant Song from Isaiah that illustrates and prepares us for two betrayals that are about to happen: "I thought I had toiled in vain and uselessly, I have exhausted myself for nothing" (Isaiah 49:4). Surely that is the human feeling after someone we love turns against us. On some level, we all feel we have made some kind of contract with life, when life does not come through as we had hoped, and we feel a searing pain called betrayal. It happens to all of us in different ways. It is a belly punch that leaves us with a sense of futility and emptiness. And here it happens to Jesus from two of his own inner circle, both Judas and Peter. The more love and hope you have invested in another person, the deeper the pain of betrayal is. If it happens at a deep and personal level, we wonder if he will ever trust again. Your heart does "break." It is one of those crossroad moments, when the breaking can forever close you down, or in time just the opposite—open you up to an enlargement of soul—as we will see in Jesus this week. What is happening is that we are withdrawing a human dependency, finding grace to forgive and let go, and relocating our little self in The Self (God), which never betrays us. It can't! It might take years for most of us to work through this; for Jesus it seems to have been natural, although who knows how long it took him to get there. All we see in the text is that there are no words of bitterness at all, only a calm, unblaming description in the midst of the "night," which is almost upon us.

"Solitary Jesus, you get more alone as the week goes on, till all you have is a naked but enduring hope in God. Do not bring me to such a test, I would not know how to survive."

— from the book Wondrous Encounters: Scriptures for Lent

by Richard Rohr, OFM


†Saint Quote
"Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you. All things pass. God does not change. Patience achieves everything. Whoever has God lacks nothing; God alone suffices."
— St. Teresa of Avila

"If you wish to explore the Holy Scripture, and you overcome your laziness and apply yourself, thirsting for the knowledge, then every good thing will be yours. You will fill your mind with the divine light. Then, when you apply that light to the doctrines of the Church, you will very easily recognize everything that is true and unadulterated, and lay it up in the hidden treasures of your soul."
— St. Cyril of Alexandria, p. 167
A Year with the Church Fathers

"[I pray] that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of him. May the eyes of [your] hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of glory in his inheritance among the holy ones, and what is the surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe, in accord with the exercise of his great might."
Ephesians 1:17-19


click to read more



St. Fergus of Scotland (d. 730 A.D.), also known as St. Fergustian or Fergus the Pict, Bishop of the Gaels, was a bishop serving in the north of Scotland. Little is known of his life. He is believed to have been trained as a bishop in Ireland, ministering there for many years before traveling as a missionary to Scotland. He went throughout the Scottish countryside preaching the Gospel, setting up churches dedicated to St. Patrick of Ireland, and working to convert the pagan people to Christianity. He also traveled to St. Peter's Basilica to participate in the Council of Rome in 721 A.D. He died around the year 730 A.D. and is buried in Glamis, Angus, in Scotland. Nearby is St. Fergus' Well. The site is believed to be where St. Fergus presided over religious services before the first church of Glamis was built. His feast day is March 30th.


Tuesday of Holy Week

Lectionary: 258
Reading I

Is 49:1-6

Hear me, O islands,

listen, O distant peoples.
The LORD called me from birth,

from my mother's womb he gave me my name.
He made of me a sharp-edged sword

and concealed me in the shadow of his arm.
He made me a polished arrow,

in his quiver he hid me.
You are my servant, he said to me,

Israel, through whom I show my glory.

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.
For now the LORD has spoken

who formed me as his servant from the womb,
That Jacob may be brought back to him

and Israel gathered to him;
And I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD,

and my God is now my strength!
It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant,

to raise up the tribes of Jacob,

and restore the survivors of Israel;
I will make you a light to the nations,

that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.

Responsorial Psalm

71:1-2, 3-4a, 5ab-6ab, 15 and 17

R. (see 15ab) I will sing of your salvation.
In you, O LORD, I take refuge;

let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me, and deliver me;

incline your ear to me, and save me.
R. I will sing of your salvation.
Be my rock of refuge,

a stronghold to give me safety,

for you are my rock and my fortress.
O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked.
R. I will sing of your salvation.
For you are my hope, O LORD;

my trust, O God, from my youth.
On you I depend from birth;

from my mother's womb you are my strength.
R. I will sing of your salvation.
My mouth shall declare your justice,

day by day your salvation.
O God, you have taught me from my youth,

and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds.
R. I will sing of your salvation.

Verse before the Gospel

Hail to you, our King, obedient to the Father;
you were led to your crucifixion like a gentle lamb to the slaughter.


Jn 13:21-33, 36-38

Reclining at table with his disciples, Jesus was deeply troubled and testified,
"Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me."
The disciples looked at one another, at a loss as to whom he meant.
One of his disciples, the one whom Jesus loved,
was reclining at Jesus' side.
So Simon Peter nodded to him to find out whom he meant.
He leaned back against Jesus' chest and said to him,
"Master, who is it?"
Jesus answered,
"It is the one to whom I hand the morsel after I have dipped it."
So he dipped the morsel and took it and handed it to Judas,
son of Simon the Iscariot.
After Judas took the morsel, Satan entered him.
So Jesus said to him, "What you are going to do, do quickly."
Now none of those reclining at table realized why he said this to him.
Some thought that since Judas kept the money bag, Jesus had told him,
"Buy what we need for the feast,"
or to give something to the poor.
So Judas took the morsel and left at once. And it was night.

When he had left, Jesus said,
"Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.
If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself,
and he will glorify him at once.
My children, I will be with you only a little while longer.
You will look for me, and as I told the Jews,
'Where I go you cannot come,' so now I say it to you."

Simon Peter said to him, "Master, where are you going?"
Jesus answered him,
"Where I am going, you cannot follow me now,
though you will follow later."
Peter said to him,
"Master, why can I not follow you now?
I will lay down my life for you."
Jesus answered, "Will you lay down your life for me?
Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow
before you deny me three times."


Daily Meditation: Isaiah 49:1-6

I will make you a light to the nations. (Isaiah 49:6)

The first time this prophecy was proclaimed, the Israelites were living in captivity under the Babylonians. And yet God was promising them a servant who would rescue them, not just from their geographical captivity, but from the captivity of their sinfulness. And not only them—the servant would be "a light to the nations," reaching to "the ends of the earth" (Isaiah 49:6). God wanted to touch all of humanity. Reading these words today, we can see how God has accomplished his plan through the birth, death, and resurrection of his Son, Jesus.

Just think—Jesus didn't come just for the first disciples or the early Church. He came for your next-door neighbor. He came for the person driving past you on the highway. He came for the spouse in a difficult marriage or in the throes of addiction. He came for those people who have yet to come to faith. Jesus came for every person—including you. He wants every single one of us to know him as Lord.

There is no darkness, whether it be a tough situation or a hardened or wounded heart, that is beyond God's ability to touch. There is no sin he can't forgive. As it says in today's first reading, it would be "too little" for his servant to restore only the survivors of Israel (Isaiah 49:6). Jesus came to bring his light to everyone. What a message of encouragement this must have been to the Israelites—as it is for each one of us!

It's Holy Week, and soon we will see Jesus reach out to "the nations" (Isaiah 49:6). We will see him offering forgiveness to the thief on the cross next to him (Luke 23:43). We will see him asking his Father to forgive his executioners (23:34). We will see a Gentile, the Roman centurion, recognize him as the Son of God (Mark 15:39). Finally, we will see him rising from the dead and conquering sin and death forever.

Jesus, the Light of the world, came to save the nations, both in his time and in ours. Let's pray that every person will turn to him and welcome him as Lord.

"Jesus, may your light shine on all who dwell in darkness."

Psalm 71:1-6, 15, 17 | John 13:21-33, 36-38



True humility consists in not presuming on our own strength, but in trusting to obtain all things from the power of God.
— St. Thomas Aquinas
from the book Sermon in a Sentence, Vol. 5


"The LORD called me from birth, from my mother's womb he gave me my name."
Who was the prophet Isaiah talking about when He said this? Most of what He spoke came to fruition in our Lord our Christ. He came to fulfill the Word, to become the very word that was spoken by the prophets. Our Lord was called from birth and was named at conception in the Immaculate Conception. And this is good news for the whole world. Our Lord came to be, from His Mother's womb, as we pray "Thy Womb...Jesus". And His life was designed for a specific purpose, for you and for me, His very beloved He loves us dearly, and love is planted so it can be given in return, and so He planted Himself in the ground, the earth, for love to make a return, a million fold.


"For you are my hope, O LORD; my trust, O God, from my youth.On you I depend from birth; from my mother's womb you are my strength."
Do you depend on God? The faithful do. We depend on Him like a farmer for rain water. What if you depend on Him for...everything? Like your very next decision? Do you think He can handle your every little decision? Do think we can bother Him that much? Could He handle that much load from billions of people?
Well, first of all, don't worry about what He can handle, He has sent billions of angels to help with that. But secondly, there are not billions of people depending on Him like that. Very few actually depend on Him like that. So do not be afraid. What happens then is the more you depend on God, the more you get into debt with Him, and this is a good give your life more and more to Him. Keep that in mind for the Holy Gospel.


In the Holy Gospel we heard our Lord say to all of us: ""Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me."
""Master, who is it?" was the very next question. Who is it? Who is going to betray our Lord? And in another gospel we heard them all ask "it is not I Lord is it?". What a bad question, right? Why is it bad? Because, that's how we are. We are created susceptible to sin. Can you guarantee you will not betray our Lord? Of course not. As holy as you may think you are right now, you cannot guarantee you will not betray Him...ok? Peter? Peter believed He could do it and said:

""Master, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you." Open mouth, insert foot.
"Jesus answered, "Will you lay down your life for me? Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow before you deny me three times."
So soon as Peter said so, our Lord was taken from them, and Peter afraid to be exposed, denied even knowing our Lord, 3 times in a row!

And the rooster crows.
The alarm goes off.
And they said Peter, our first pope began to sob and cry.
Judas, the betrayer, he too lost it, and instead of sobbing and repenting, he despaired and hung himself.

What's the message? Repent! And see what can happen with a repentant heart! Good things await, if only.
The whole of lent has been a calling to repent.
As we speak, there are many priests called to renew their vows, and lay down their lives for Christ. Is it right that only priests do this renewal? How can you do this for your Chrism consecration?

Peter said he'd lay down his life...and then messed up.
But after that, he became true. He truly laid down his life and how? Never again did He deny knowing the world would know: Less of me, more of Him.

Lord, We want to lay down our Lives for You. Give us the strength and grace, to open our hearts to Your strength and grace. So we can be You, the Light for all nations...for salvation, and true love to live forever....

from your brother in Christ our Lord,


Random online bible verse from a random verse generator:

Proverbs 16:3
3 Commit your work to the LORD,

and your plans will be established.


If one day you don't receive these, just visit
God Bless You! Peace

Powered by
GoDaddy Email Marketing ®