Friday of the Passion of the Lord
Readings: Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12; Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:7-9; John 18:1 – 19:42
See, my servant shall prosper;
he shall be exalted and lifted up,
and shall be very high.
Just as there were many who were astonished at him
—so marred was his appearance, beyond human semblance
He was despised and rejected by others;
a man of suffering[a] and acquainted with infirmity;
and as one from whom others hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him of no account. (Isaiah 52:13-14; 53:3)
This is our final reflection for a couple of days as Lent concludes, and we enter into the silence of the tomb and ponder the mystery of Jesus’ triumph over death.
It is easy to imagine that Isaiah had Jesus explicitly in mind when he wrote today’s text. However, Isaiah was a prophet and not a fortune-teller. He is providing a spiritual insight into his own experience, as he identifies and reflects on what was considered to be a minority view at the time: that God is most present in weakness and suffering.
Isaiah had come to understand something that we must all deal with: that God has a preference to reside in, and work through, the abandoned and the rejected. It is an insight that Jesus would take to himself when he taught, ‘just as you did it to one of the least of these … you did it to me’ (Matthew 25:40).
By now, we must be aware that God’s ways are not our ways. That this text from Isaiah would one day be applied to Jesus should not be surprising to us. There is a remarkable consistency in the way that God works.
Not only are God’s ways are not our ways, but God actively avoids our ways, because utilising them would give us the mistaken impression we are in charge (see yesterday’s reading and reflection). In Jesus, we see who God is and how God works.
Reflection by Shane Dwyer.
Reproduced with permission from Evangelisation Brisbane, an agency of the Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane, who have kindly supplied these daily Lenten 2021 reflections from their publication Look to Jesus: 52 Daily Reflections for Lent and Easter.