Tuesday of Holy Week
March 30, 2021
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 71, a prayer of yielding and confident faith.
Often thought to be the prayer of an aging David, Psalm 71 recalls a long and steady relationship with God. Even as his youthful vigor wanes, the psalmist declares that his true strength rests in God’s faithfulness.
For you are my hope, O LORD;Psalm 71: 15-17
my trust, O God, from my youth.
On you I depend from birth;
from my mother’s womb you are my strength.
My mouth shall declare your justice,
day by day your salvation.
O God, you have taught me from my youth,
and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds.
David witnesses to a powerful faith, one that we all might cherish in our human diminishments. It is hard to lose things in our life – youth, health, relationships, reputation, enthusiasm, hope, direction, security. But all of us face at least some of these challenges at some time in our lives.
In our Gospel today, Jesus acknowledges the loss of trust in a close disciple:
“Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”John 13:21-22
The disciples looked at one another, at a loss as to whom he meant.
That betrayal is a sign to Jesus that the great dream of his earthly ministry is coming to an ignominious close when even those dearest to him slip into betrayal and denial.
What is it that holds Jesus together, heart and soul riveted on the Father’s Will, as he moves through these heart-wrenching days.
Jesus is the living sacrament of complete obedience and union with God. Every choice of his life has brought him to a readiness for this final and supreme act of trusting love. Like the psalmist today, Jesus’s whole life proclaims:
I will always hope in youPsalm 71: 14-17
and add to all your praise.
My mouth shall proclaim your just deeds,
day after day your acts of deliverance,
though I cannot number them all.i
I will speak of the mighty works of the Lord;
O GOD, I will tell of your singular justice.
God, you have taught me from my youth;
to this day I proclaim your wondrous deeds.
As we accompany Jesus today, let us pray this psalm with him, asking for an ever-deepening faith, hope, and love.
Poetry: Jesus Weeps – Malcolm Guite
Jesus comes near and he beholds the city
And looks on us with tears in his eyes,
And wells of mercy, streams of love and pity
Flow from the fountain whence all things arise.
He loved us into life and longs to gather
And meet with his beloved face to face
How often has he called, a careful mother,
And wept for our refusals of his grace,
Wept for a world that, weary with its weeping,
Benumbed and stumbling, turns the other way,
Fatigued compassion is already sleeping
Whilst her worst nightmares stalk the light of day.
But we might waken yet, and face those fears,
If we could see ourselves through Jesus’ tears.
Music: Long Ago – Michael Hoppé, Tom Wheater, Michael Tillman