Year A: Palm Sunday
First Reading: Isaiah 50: 4-7
The link between this Reading and the Passion story is quite clear. The Church looks at the suffering of Jesus in His Passion - and how He dealt with it - and hears echoes from the Hebrew Scriptures - in the writings of Isaiah.
Isaiah writes of a “Suffering Servant” - one on whom the insults and abuse of the people are laid. Yet, despite the suffering, the Servant retains a great dignity. Although his body is beaten - his face spat into - he seems to be able to hold to a certainty that there is a part of him that remains untouched and untouchable. Although his reputation is torn apart and ground into the dirt - he knows that God sees his integrity and so is unashamed.
The world may despise him - and create false accusations and hold them to be true - but the Servant knows the real Truth and finds in it a fortress - he is untouched by the lies and insults hurled at him.
As we read the account of the Passion, we find it hard to understand why Jesus did not retaliate - or try to defend Himself. The “Songs of the Suffering Servant” can give us an insight into where His strength came from. Like the Servant in Isaiah, Jesus knew that God was on the side of Truth - and that those who suffer for Truth are vindicated. Faced with the noise - the pain - the hatred, Jesus was able to go to the place within Him where peace reigned. This was the place where God dwelt - and no earthly power could prevail against it.
What does it mean for me?
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