Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wednesday of Holy Week--The Holy Face

Today's first reading from Isaiah shows Christ's willingness to suffer for our sake.
I gave my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who plucked my beard;
My face I did not shield
from buffets and spitting.
The responsorial psalm goes further:
For your sake I bear insult,
and shame covers my face.
I have become an outcast to my brothers,
a stranger to my mother’s sons,
because zeal for your house consumes me,
Rather they put gall in my food,
and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
The line "zeal for your house consumes me" has always touched me, especially in relation to being an "outcast to my mother's sons."  There will be times, especially now, when being a Christian will put you in direct opposition to those around you; when longing to be in the Presence of God in His house, will make you a laughing stock.  Remember that Jesus walked that road for us and before us. Our consolation *is* being in the Presence.

As always in the psalms, though, it ends praising God.
I will praise the name of God in song,
and I will glorify him with thanksgiving:
“See, you lowly ones, and be glad;
you who seek God, may your hearts revive!
For the LORD hears the poor,
and his own who are in bonds he spurns not.
Hang onto this hope. God will be praised.

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Dymphna's favorite quotes

"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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