Reflection for April 18, 2000: Tuesday of Holy Week.

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O'Reilly, Daniel Patrick
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Holy Week is a wonderful, glorious time. And yet, for me, it is also a time of confusion and mixed emotions. I feel a radiant joy at the thought of how deeply God loves me and that all of my sins are forgiven. I feel a deep sadness at the thought that Christ went to the cross because of my sins. And today's scriptures are just as diverse as my feelings.|In Isaiah, we are given a glimpse of the coming Christ. "I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth." And the Palmist sings praises to God. "My mouth will tell...of your salvation all day long, though I know not it's measure."|And then comes John's gospel account of Christ's final hours with the disciples. These twelve men have spent the last few years eating, drinking and sleeping with the Son of God. They've seen great miracles, listened to Jesus' teachings and had it explained to them personally when they didn't understand. Christ has been preparing the disciples for the crucifixion and yet when Jesus says that he is leaving, they still don't get it. Judas betrays Jesus. For what? For money. He turns the Son of God over to the authorities for money. I don't understand. Does Judas really have a choice in this? Is he predestined to betray Christ? How does Satan get his claws planted so firmly in the heart of a disciple of Christ? And then comes Peter. Peter proclaims that he will lay down his life for Jesus. And Christ tells Peter that he will disown Jesus three times that very night. How can Peter profess that Jesus is the Christ and then in the next breath deny that he knows Jesus?|This story presents so many confusing questions. Even with the advantage of hindsight, this story raises so many questions in my heart. However, several things are made crystal clear in this story. Despite all their inadequacies, Jesus loves the disciples. He loves them to the point of laying his life down for them. As the father of several young boys, I marvel at the fact that I would lay down my life in a heartbeat for these little urchins who disobey me, don't listen to me and sometimes, in a tantrum, tell me they hate me. So it is with God's love for us.|One of the glories of Holy Week is this thought. We human beings are a long ways from perfect. And despite that fact, "God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son....." What a wonderful God we worship.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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