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Friday, March 29, 2024

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Good Friday

Isaiah 52:13—53:12
Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Psalm 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-17, 25
John 18:1—19:42

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no rest for the wicked

“Judas took the cohort as well as guards supplied by the chief priests and the Pharisees, and came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.” —John 18:3

The only apostle wide awake on Holy Thursday night, sadly, was Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus (Jn 18:3). All the other apostles with Jesus during His agony in the garden were sound asleep and could not keep their eyes open (Lk 22:45). Jesus said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Wake up, and pray that you may not be subjected to the trial” (Lk 22:46). But they were sound asleep, even while the cohort of several hundred soldiers approached the garden unnoticed by all except Jesus. He knew they were coming to arrest Him, but refused to flee from the extreme danger for love of us all. Meanwhile, Judas was wide awake, but in opposition to Jesus, not in service of Him.

How would a journalist record our own activity this Triduum? Are we asleep or unable to keep our eyes open and fixed on Jesus? (cf Heb 3:1) Are we keeping our eyes open, looking for an opportunity to sin or to betray Jesus? Or are we part of the crowd, oblivious to Jesus’ sufferings on our behalf?

Though Jesus had three times warned the apostles of His upcoming arrest (Mt 16:21; 17:22-23; 20:17-19), they were unprepared when the soldiers appeared in the garden. Those against Jesus were wide awake and on the job. Those for Jesus, by comparison, were asleep or sluggish. No wonder Jesus told parables about His servants needing to always be ready, vigilant and alert! “The moral is: keep your eyes open, for you know not the day or the hour” (Mt 25:13).

Prayer:  Lord, help us to be alert and prepared, always ready to open when You knock on the door of our hearts (Mt 25:6; Rv 3:20).

Promise:  “By His stripes we were healed.” —Is 53:5

Praise:  (none)

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

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