Gospel Reflection: Good Friday
Malvern Minute

 

HOLY WEEK — MARCH 21 – MARCH 27, 2016

Good Friday, March 25, 2016

ISAIAH 52:13 — 53:12

Fourth Oracle Of the Servant of the Lord

Suffering and Triumph of the Servant of the Lord

See, my servant shall prosper,
          he shall be raised high and greatly exalted.
Even as many were amazed at him—so marred were his features
          beyond that of mortals his appearance, beyond that of human beings—
So shall he startle many nations,
          kings shall stand speechless;
For those who have not been told shall see,
          those who have not heard shall ponder it.

 Who would believe what we have heard?
          To whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
He grew up like a sapling before him,
          like a shoot from the parched earth;
He had no majestic bearing to catch our eye,
          no beauty to draw us to him.
He was spurned and avoided by men,
          a man of suffering, knowing pain,
Like one from whom you turn your face,
          spurned, and we held him in no esteem.
Yet it was our pain that he bore,
          our sufferings he endured.
We thought of him as stricken,
          struck down by God and afflicted,
But he was pierced for our sins,
          crushed for our iniquity.
He bore the punishment that makes us whole,
          by his wounds we were healed.
We had all gone astray like sheep,
          all following our own way;
But the Lord laid upon him
          the guilt of us all.
Though harshly treated, he submitted
          and did not open his mouth;
Like a lamb led to slaughter,
          or a sheep silent before shearers,
          he did not open his mouth.
Seized and condemned, he was taken away.
          Who would have thought any more of his destiny?
For he was cut off from the land of the living,
          struck for the sins of his people.
He was given a grave among the wicked,
          a burial place with evildoers,
Though he had done no wrong,
          nor was deceit found in his mouth.
But it was the Lord’s will to crush him with pain.

 By making his life as a reparation offering,
          he shall see his offspring, shall lengthen his days,
          and the Lord’s will shall be accomplished through him.
Because of his anguish he shall see the light;
          because of his knowledge he shall be content;
My servant, the just one, shall justify the many,
          their iniquity he shall bear.
Therefore I will give him his portion among the many,
          and he shall divide the spoils with the mighty,
Because he surrendered himself to death,
          was counted among the transgressors,
Bore the sins of many,
          and interceded for the transgressors.

The Word of the Lord

If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts!

REFLECTION:

On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this Holy Week, we had meditated on the first of the three Oracles of the Suffering Servant from the Prophet Isaiah and now we come to the fourth and concluding Oracle.  Saint Matthew’s Passion Narrative is proclaimed during the Celebration of the Passion of the Lord, and it demonstrates that the Evangelist Matthew had clearly in his mind the image of the Suffering Servant proclaimed by Isaiah.

Jesus Christ is the Suffering Servant of God sent to redeem us through His cruel passion and death.   Truly, he was pierced for our sins, crushed for our iniquity.  Humankind was incapable of freeing itself from the slavery of sin and was unable to see beyond the grave and the fear of death.   Humanity was in desperate need of Divine Healing — A Faithful Servant of the Lord:

He bore the punishment that makes us whole,
                                    by his wounds we were healed.

The following is prayed while holding a cross in your hands, or while standing before a crucifix:

We adore your Cross, O Lord,

We praise and glorify your holy Resurrection,

for behold, because of the wood of a tree

joy has come to the whole world.

May God have mercy on us and bless us;

May he let his face shed its light upon us and have mercy on us.

(Chant sung during the Adoration of the Cross)

Hail to you, our King, obedient to the Father;

            You were led to your crucifixion like a gentle lamb to the slaughter.

WE BELIEVE, AND THEREFORE SPEAK (2 Corinthians 4:13)

Consider joining the Men and Women of Malvern by deepening your personal relationship with Jesus and your commitment as a disciple through a weekend retreat.  See our website for details: MalvernRetreat.com

 

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