Readings and Reflection for April 13, Wednesday of Holy Week


“I hid not my face from shame and spitting” (Third song of the servant of the Lord)
A reading from the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah 50:4-9a)

The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him that is weary. Morning by morning he wakens, he wakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I turned not backward. I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I hid not my face from shame and spitting. For the Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been confounded; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame; he who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who is my adversary? Let him come near to me. Behold, the Lord God helps me; who will declare me guilty?

The word of the Lord

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps 69:8-10.21-22.31 and 33-34 (R. 14c, b)
R/. In your great mercy, answer me, O God, for a time of your favour.

It is for you that I suffer taunts,
that shame has covered my face.
To my own kin I have become an outcast,
a stranger to the children of my mother.
Zeal for your house consumes me,
and taunts against you fall on me. R/.

Taunts have broken my heart;
here I am in anguish.
I looked for solace, but there was none;
for consolers — not one could I find.
For food they gave me gall;
in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. R/.

R/. In your great mercy, answer me, O God, for a time of your favour.

Then I will praise God’s name with a song;
I will glorify him with thanksgiving.
The poor when they see it will be glad,
and God-seeking hearts will revive;
for the Lord listens to the needy,
and does not spurn his own in their chains. R/.

Glory and praise to you, O Christ. Hail, our King: you alone have had mercy on our failings!
Glory and praise to you, O Christ.

“The Son of man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed!”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 26: 14-25)

At that time: One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him. Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?” He said, “Go into the city to such a one, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.”’ And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover. When it was evening, he sat at table with the twelve disciples; and as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” And they were very sorrowful, and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me, will betray me. The Son of man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” Judas, who betrayed him, said, “Is it I, Master?” He said to him, “You have said so.”

The Gospel of the Lord

Isaiah’s Servant of God was subjected to suffering and humiliation unfairly. He had done no wrong that deserved such treatment. But he bore it all without bitterness, without retaliation. He was able to do that because God was with him all the time, giving him strength to endure his trials. Jesus was that Servant of God that Isaiah prophesied. One of his greatest pains must have been the knowledge that one of his own companions, one of the twelve whom he had been grooming to become Apostles, was planning to hand him over to his enemies. But, the Servant of God that he was, knew that his Father would see him through his trials and tribulations. God has continued to do that for his faithful and loyal servants.


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