Today’s reflection comes from the Catholic Telegraph and stresses the need to trust God in uncertain times:
Scripture Readings: IS 49:1-6; PS71:1-2, 3-4A, 5AB-6AB, 15 AND 17; JN 13:21-33, 36-38
Invitation to Prayer: Lord, help us to trust in you!
In today’s readings we hear several perplexing juxtapositions that invite us to, nevertheless, trust in the Lord and his plan. In the first reading from Isaiah, the prophet describes the Lord as having made him a sharp-edged sword that is concealed, a polished arrow that is hidden in a quiver, and a servant who is to be a light to the nations. These images stand as contradictions of a sort. What weapon is useful in hiding? What servant is a leader? The theme continues in the Psalm where we proclaim “I will sing of your salvation” while also crying out for the Lord’s safety, refuge, and rescue. How can I beg for salvation and sing of it at the same time?
Finally, in the Gospel we hear part of John’s account of the Last Supper. We witness Judas’ turning aside to betray Jesus. We hear Jesus preparing his disciples for what is to come. But what he says should catch us as perplexing: “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him…. My children, I will be with you only a little while longer.” We all know that he is referring to his crucifixion, but how can this be glorifying?!
Right before these words from Jesus, as Judas is slipping out to betray him, John reminds us: “And it was night.” I think about my own children. The time when I often have to do the most consoling of them is at night. This is when their worries, their fears, and their perspective on reality is most uncertain. Weird sounds, a storm outside, a feeling of aloneness. Yet, what do I say to them: “Don’t worry. I’m here. Trust me. Everything will be fine.”
The very thing that is perplexing about these juxtapositions is also an invitation that we make to our own children, friends, and loved ones so instinctively: “Trust in me; it will be alright.” Today’s readings and the perplexing events of both our current world and the Gospel leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion ask the same of us: “Trust in the Lord; sing of His salvation.”
Lord, we pray that you would give us a deep faith and an unfailing trust in your Providence. May we rejoice in times of uncertainty and rest in the knowledge of the goodness of your plan. May we see your glory and share in it, now and in the age to come. Amen.