Today is Sunday the 17 October, beginning the 29th week of Ordinary time.
Maximillian sings ‘Redemption’. ‘Innocence hung guilty on a tree’… as I hear these words, what do I notice stirring within me as I begin to pray today?
Today’s reading is from the Prophet Isaiah.
Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him with pain.When you make his life an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days;through him the will of the Lord shall prosper. Out of his anguish he shall see light;he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge. The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.
The prophet Isaiah foretells the coming of Christ Jesus, the suffering servant. The crushing pain of the Cross. The anguish. Can I take it in?
I recall a picture of innocent suffering today: A hungry baby with little chance of being well fed. A lonely student or old person. A bullied schoolchild. A family whose home has been wrecked by war or floods. What feelings do these pictures evoke in me?
Perhaps I am experiencing innocent suffering myself. Perhaps I have no sense at all of the extent of Christ’s suffering. Perhaps I need a greater sense of my own sin. From all and any of these standpoints, I can turn to Christ now. Helpless.
As I listen to the passage again, I can ask God’s help to move from my head to my heart. What does my heart say in response to the Gospel? The grace that covers even me?
I speak to this suffering servant on the Cross. What do I want to say? I linger in that conversation. I listen to the response
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.