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Greetings! I hope that you all had a wonderful Easter! My reflection today was really inspired by our readings for one of our Masses during Holy Week. But maybe, this reflection can be appropriate for any time – even Easter time.
The first reading of the Mass for that day was from the Prophet Isaiah (49:1-6): “Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and uselessly spent my strength, yet my reward is with the Lord.” I had always loved that reading, but my reflection book asked ‘how often have we wondered if we had toiled in vain’? I was recalling the various experiences just the day before when I wondered if what I had done had been effective at all. The Gospel of that same Mass (John 13:21-38) probably has Jesus questioning that same thing as he foretells that one of his chosen disciples was “going to betray him”, and another one was going to “deny him three times”. How do you think that made Jesus feel when he recognizes that even his chosen disciples don’t really understand what he has been trying to do all these years?
Those readings really allowed me to understand the humanness of Jesus wondering (on the very night before he died) if he had toiled in vain? “Do they really understand what I’ve been trying to tell them?” Do we really understand today what he tried to do? So the next time you wonder if you have toiled in vain, you can know that Jesus also must have felt the same way, and then remember that “our reward is with the Lord”, too. (Is:49:4) We look forward to that day and time when we recognize our reward.
God bless you!
Sister Marilyn Dunn (firstname.lastname@example.org)