“Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” – John 13:38
I can predict your future without using a crystal ball, a tarot card, reading your palm or by looking into your eyes.
I can see what your future holds just by listening to your words.
When you wake up in the morning and say, “Oh no, this will be a very hard and long day.” I am 100 percent sure you will experience what you said. Even if there are instances of ease that day, you will still end it believing that it was a hard and long day.
But if what comes out of your mouth are uplifting words, you are going to have an incredible day.
Yes, your words are powerful! Words have the power to heal or hurt, encourage or discourage, build up or tear down.
Research says that words have emotional, psychological and spiritual impact.
What we say most of the time can create realities in our lives.
That is why we have to be careful with the things that come out of our mouth. Arun Gogna (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Think first before you speak. Today will be a great day, in Jesus’ name I claim.
Continuing our reflection on the Servant Songs of Jesus, it is critical that we realize that faith is a way of life – it is a way of living out our mortal existence. There are two ways in which we can do this – with or without God at the center. Herein lies the crux of the matter! We live in a world that embraces secularization in an unreflected and dangerous manner. It is all very well to place our trust in science and what it can do for us, but science cannot offer you eternal life! Only Jesus can offer us that and He offers it to us through a life of service and prayer. How well do you embrace this call?
1 Hear me, O coastlands, listen, O distant peoples. The LORD called me from birth, from my mother’s womb he gave me my name. 2 He made of me a sharp-edged sword and concealed me in the shadow of his arm. He made me a polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me. 3 You are my servant, he said to me, Israel, through whom I show my glory. 4 Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength, yet my reward is with the LORD, my recompense is with my God. 5 For now the LORD has spoken who formed me as his servant from the womb, that Jacob may be brought back to him and Israel gathered to him; and I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD, and my God is now my strength! 6 It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and restore the survivors of Israel; I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.
P S A L M
Psalms 71:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 15, 17
R: I will sing of your salvation.
1 In you, O LORD, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. 2 In your justice rescue me, and deliver me; incline your ear to me, and save me. (R) 3 Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety, for you are my rock and my fortress. 4 O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked. (R) 5 For you are my hope, O Lord; my trust, O God, from my youth. 6 On you I depend from birth; from my mother’s womb you are my strength. (R) 15 My mouth shall declare your justice, day by day your salvation. 17 O God, you have taught me from my youth, and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds. (R)
G O S P E L
When we choose to follow the Lord in our lives – to live and act upon our faith beliefs — we will be drawn into conflict with the world. This is not because the world is fundamentally bad, but because it is yet to be redeemed and as such has powers at work within it that are in opposition to our faith. We live in the world but we are not of the world. There is a huge difference between these two realities. As we seek to be disciples of Jesus we will grow in our understanding of this distinction and be able to choose wisely our course of action. Let us pray that we will allow the Holy Spirit to guide us in this task.
VERSE BEFORE THE GOSPEL
Hail to you, our King, obedient to the Father; you were led to your crucifixion like a gentle lamb to the slaughter.
John 13:21-33, 36-38
21 Reclining at table with his disciples, Jesus was deeply troubled and testified, “Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22 The disciples looked at one another, at a loss as to whom he meant. 23 One of his disciples, the one whom Jesus loved, was reclining at Jesus’ side. 24 So Simon Peter nodded to him to find out whom he meant. 25 He leaned back against Jesus’ chest and said to him, “Master, who is it?” 26 Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I hand the morsel after I have dipped it.” So he dipped the morsel and [took it and] handed it to Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot. 27 After he took the morsel, Satan entered him. So Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” 28 Now none of those reclining at table realized why he said this to him. 29 Some thought that since Judas kept the money bag, Jesus had told him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or to give something to the poor. 30 So he took the morsel and left at once. And it was night. 31 When he had left, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him at once. 33 My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. You will look for me, and as I told the Jews, ‘Where I go you cannot come,’ so now I say it to you. 36 Simon Peter said to him, “Master, where are you going?” Jesus answered him, “Where I am going, you cannot follow me now, though you will follow later.” 37 Peter said to him, “Master, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” 38 Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow before you deny me three times.”
PETER AND JUDAS
Peter and Judas are the main characters in the Gospel today. We know that Peter was to deny Jesus at His arrest while Judas despaired that He had betrayed innocent blood. Two disciples close to Jesus sadly give way to disloyalty and unfaithfulness. However, Jesus is the loving and compassionate Lord. In the end, we know that Peter renewed his faith in the Lord while Judas, unable to come to grips that the Lord would ever forgive him, took his life in his own hands.
To eat bread together was a high form of fellowship in the Jewish culture. As Jesus broke bread and shared (His body) this was tantamount to saying, “I will be loyal to you and I commit myself to you in friendship. I will never hurt you.” In this light, we see what an evil act it was for Judas (knowing what was going to happen) to take the bread from the Master’s hand with the intent of betraying Jesus. I once heard that both Peter and Judas had potential to be great leaders. Peter repented and became a great leader of the Church and the early community. What a waste of life for Judas. If pride had not stolen his heart, he could have repented and found a place, too, in Jesus’ mission.
As we read the Gospel today, we can relate with these two men. Oftentimes we, too, are caught in denial of the Lord. For example, how often have we listened to gossip and not walked away, or willingly participated? How often have we had a chance to defend the teachings of the Church, or the good act of someone and chosen to be quiet or not take action? This is a denial that we are followers of the Lord, or even Christians for that matter.
Or perhaps when life seems so hard, we despair and doubt the goodness of the Lord. How many times have we betrayed the Lord through sin, through ill-treatment of another or have shown disrespect to family members? In this Gospel, we learn how easy we can turn away from the Lord, even if we boast that we will follow the Lord come what may. Fr. Brian Steele, MGL
Have I denied the Lord? Have I betrayed Him?
Lord, I repent of the ways I have denied Your existence in my life or even for the times I have betrayed You through careless acts and words. Forgive me as I trust in Your loving mercy. Amen.
St. Ursmar, pray for us.