The opportunity to reflect more deeply on the readings for today was indeed a gift. As I searched for meaning in the prophetic description of the suffering of Jesus in Isaiah, the prayers for the deliverance of God’s people in Psalm 69, and Matthew’s description of the betrayal of Jesus, I came to see a common theme: God does not abandon us in times of distress, He hears our prayers, and He gave us the gift of His Son who fulfilled the promise of salvation by humbly accepting the will of His Father even when those whom he loved and trusted placed so little value on His life.
As we approach the culmination of Jesus’ life on earth in this most Holy Week, we rightly focus on the torments that Jesus suffered for and because of us. However, we will find no meaning in His suffering, if we fail to recognize it as the tangible sign of God’s love for us, and find in it the gift of salvation that it procured. Through His betrayal by Judas, and, by implication, all of us, to His death on the cross, and finally His glorious resurrection, Jesus says to each of us, “I love you!” and for this, we praise His name in song.
College of Nursing