thoughts and observations on the daily readings
Monday of Holy Week
Reading may be found here
In the second eucharistic prayer, we invoke the Spirit, praying that the Spirit will descend upon the gifts “like the dewfall.” At the time of the new translation there was much chatter about this wording, but I love it because I believe that it captures an essential aspect of Divine grace.
Today, Isaiah prophesies concerning the “Servant of the Lord.” This passage is one of several “Servant Songs” that Christians now understand as speaking prophetically of the Lord Jesus. Notice that the all faithful Servant is absolutely gentle – “not crying out,” “a bruised reed he will not break,” “a smoldering wick he will not quench.” In this, the Servant reflects the qualities of God. Recall that the original sin consists in the rejection of divine love and the will to our own illusory sense of power and entitlement. God’s power, the only true power, is the power of love – it does not exercise control or dominate. It seeks the good of the beloved. And love always longs for a free response. God did not force Adam and Eve to bend to His will and God will not crush our freedom even to save us. His servant is gentle and self-sacrificing, and His spirit descends “like the dewfall,” the gentlest of ways for life giving water to appear.
In the passage from John we see that Judas, a man who would control and manipulate events to his own ends, condemns the extravagant and loving gesture that Mary offers the Lord. Judas has failed to understand the nature of God’s ways. Jesus’ rebuke of Judas is not a diminishment of His frequent calls to care for the poor – rather it is His recognition that Mary has understood and responded freely to the power of love. May we do likewise!