Scripture: Isaiah 50:4-9, Ps 31:9-16, Phil 2:5-11, Luke 22:14-23:56
In entering the Holy Week, we are introduced with a particular reminder to get into the depths of Jesus’ suffering to feel how deep is His emotional pain, even if we can only imagine the breadth of His physical pain. Because we cannot know the power of His sacrifice unless we really know the suffering cost of it.
However, the readings emphasize particular tones to the more general theme, namely the cost of being faithful to the LORD’s calling and God’s vindication of the servant’s obedience. It is important to point out that the servant mentioned in Isaiah does not receive this suffering passively; but he actively chooses to encounter the conflict that arises through his proclamation. Such suffering, in and of itself, is not vicarious. It is a byproduct of speaking truth to power.
This was reflected in the last days in the mission of Jesus. The one who suffered unjustly was cautious against the corruption of the world that arises to dominate and control all forms of life. The marginalized, the poor and the voiceless are at the heart of Christ mission on earth—bottom-up, not top-down.
Jesus washing the feet of the disciples was the display of His humility and His servanthood. It is not a humility of silence but a humility to serve. It is through this humility that one could take up the cross and encounter every circumstance in life. The readings remind the faithful of the cost of discipleship. There will be times in the Christian life when living into God’s calling comes at a price.
In many parts of the world, we are intensely aware of “the signs of the times” with more and more corruption, in-fighting within and between political parties, the growing rate of people living with hunger, people losing their homes and lands. In other places things are worse particularly in the distribution of Covid-19 aid. The poor and the voiceless are the victims. Who will extend the mission of Christ to fight for the poor? Who will stand for the marginalized?
-Rev Dr Tioti Timon, Tangintebu Theological College, Kiribati
Pray for resistance and resilience against the powerful to force existing empires not to corrupt justice and violate the nations’ human right.
Pray for a complete obedience to speak truth to power in the midst of corruption and injustice.