Day of Light and Darkness

Monday of Holy Week
April 3, 2023

Today’s Readings:

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy we find Jesus standing at the edge of Light and Darkness.

Isaiah, speaking in the Father’s voice, summons and commissions Jesus to the act of Redemption:

Thus says God, the LORD,
who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spreads out the earth with its crops,
Who gives breath to its people
and spirit to those who walk on it:

I, the LORD, have called you for the victory of justice,
I have grasped you by the hand;
I formed you, and set you
as a covenant of the people,
a light for the nations,

To open the eyes of the blind,
to bring out prisoners from confinement,
and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.

Isaiah 42: 1-8

The divine mandate is triumphant in tone and looks to the other side of Good Friday for its power and hope. But Jesus is no fool. He realizes that Sunday’s paper-thin adulation will shrivel in the coming week’s turmoil. He knows that before the Alleluias sound there will be a sorrowful adagio.

So as enemies seethe in Jerusalem’s shadows, Jesus seeks the light and warmth of his beloved friends. Among them, Mary in particular reaches into his silence, touching threads of hope tangled with disappointment, of courage knotted with fear.

In Bethany, they gave a dinner for him, and Martha served,
while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him. 
Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil
made from genuine aromatic nard
and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair;
the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.

John 12: 1-3

Into this warm comfort, Judas injects his icy venom. This is no surprise to John who clearly describes Judas not as a spontaneous betrayer, but as a long-smoldering “thief” who had never fully embraced his discipleship:

Then Judas the Iscariot, one of his disciples,
and the one who would betray him, said,
“Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages
and given to the poor?”
He said this not because he cared about the poor
but because he was a thief and held the money bag
and used to steal the contributions.

John 12: 4-6

Today’s readings are filled
with the emotions and personalities
that Jesus experienced.
We will find ourselves
somewhere among these
as we walk by his side
toward Calvary.

Poetry: I Should Not Dare to Leave My Friend – Emily Dickinson

I should not dare to leave my friend,
Because—because if he should die
While I was gone—and I—too late—
Should reach the Heart that wanted me—
If I should disappoint the eyes
That hunted—hunted so—to see—
And could not bear to shut until
They ‘noticed’ me—they noticed me—
If I should stab the patient faith
So sure I’d come—so sure I’d come—
It listening—listening—went to sleep—
Telling my tardy name—
My Heart would wish it broke before—
Since breaking then—since breaking then—
Were useless as next morning’s sun—
Where midnight frosts—had lain!

Music: Gautier Capuçon & friends play Adagio in G minor (Albinoni, arr. Werner Thomas-Mifune)

7 thoughts on “Day of Light and Darkness

  1. Grace

    Renee so good to have you back. I am sorry that you have been so unwell and so hope that you are feeling ever so much better. Thanks for sharing with us. Grace

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Welcome back Renee, glad you’re back in “spiritual” business by sharing your inspired reflections with all of us. It wakes me up in the morning to see “Lavish Mercy” in my email!! Hope to see you for your Jubilee Mass!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Clare Smith

    Dear Sr. Renee,
    What a delight to see your beautiful, soothing, inspiring posts back in my inbox! So sorry to hear of your serious difficulties over the last few months but so happy to have you back. May your health continue to improve 🙏


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