Isaiah 49: 1-6
Psalm 71: 1-2, 3-4a, 5ab-6ab, 15, and 17
John 12: 21-33, 36-38
In the Gospel today, we see the extreme and radical love God has for His people. Jesus predicts two different betrayals and yet still loves those who will betray Him – Judas and Peter – in the most intimate way through the Eucharist. If you knew someone was going to betray you, would you invite them to a gathering of friends and give your entire self to them? I can’t say that I would, but Jesus does. And not only does He do this in the Gospel today, but He does it every single day.
He knows that we are not going to follow His commands and that we will turn against Him and choose not to love Him multiple times each day. Yet, He still gives His whole self to us and cries out His love for us each day in the Eucharist. And He waits for us in the confessional to forgive those offenses we have committed against Him.
How often do we respond to this Great Love? And how do we respond to this Love? Well, receiving His precious gifts of Himself in the Eucharist and the freeing Sacrament of Confession would probably be a good place to start. And recognizing that everything we do is only a response to the Love He is pouring out upon us every moment of every day.
I feel like the Eucharist is a great way to see how small we are compared to God and our role in this divine love exchange. Because what do we do? Absolutely nothing but recognize and receive His love into our very bodies! He gives, we receive. Until we understand this, we will be just like Peter, thinking we are ready to die for Christ before we are filled with His love.
But we see later that Peter does give the correct response to Christ’s love when he realizes his wrongdoing. He is sorry for betraying Jesus and repents. Then, he recognizes that he can do nothing without receiving Christ’s love first and begins to live his life as an expression of that divine love filling him up.
So, let us give the response this week that Peter eventually gives, recognizing our shortcomings and relying totally on God’s merciful love. Take advantage of the beautiful Sacrament of Confession during this week where we remember Christ’s great sacrifice for our sins. And be open to simply receiving God’s unexplainably radical love in the Eucharist. Let Him shower you with His love.
Stephanie is a first-year FOCUS missionary at the University of Kentucky. She enjoys growing plants and is loving the weather warming up for Spring! She hopes you and your family have a wonderful and Christ-filled Holy Week, which happens to be her favorite week of the year!