Out of Confinement

Readings for Monday April 18, 2011

Monday of Holy Week

First Reading: Isaiah 42:1-7
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 27
Gospel: John 12:1-11

I, the LORD, have called you for the victory of justice, I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations, To open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness. (Is. 42:6-7)

Today begins Holy Week, one of the greatest weeks of our year. For it is this week that we grow in our faith by going deeper into Christ's passion and we celebrate His victory over sin and death. What an amazing and blessed week this is. I can still remember beginning Holy Week three years ago as I was preparing to enter into the Church. I remember the excitement and anticipation that built up this week. I can still remember preparing to receive the Sacraments and to receive Jesus for the first time. To finally take part in the passover meal that Jesus instituted over 2000 years ago. This is truly a time that is special to all of us, because we have people who are coming into (or back) to the Church, and these new brothers and sisters should be welcomed home with open arms. This season is also a chance for us to rekindle our own faith and gratitude for the great gift of life that Jesus gave to us by His life, death, and resurrection.

Today's first reading by Isaiah reminds us exactly why Jesus gave His life for us; "to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness."(Is 42:7) God came in the flesh to die for us because His children were hurting. They were blinded by their own sin, and could not see clearly to turn away from their worldly life and turn to Him. They were lost and did not know the way. He came so that we would not need to be tied down by our sins, but rather can have the freedom that comes from a life with God. As once we lived in darkness, now we have to light of Christ to show us the way, and to lead us to the Father.

As any good parent, God did not want to see His children ache any more. He was prepared to do anything to save us from hell, even if that meant dying on a cross. This week, use this time to reflect on Christ's great sacrifice and on God's love for us. Take a few moments to thank Him, and then think how can we share God's love with others.

May God bless you this Holy Week.

Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, thank you for all that you have given, and all that you have done for us. Lord, help us to sacrifice in our own lives, as you have sacrificed for us. Lord, we thank you and praise you for the great gift of this life, may we never waste it on any worldly pursuits. Lord, help us to let you Spirit work in us, and that we may shine the light of Christ in this world. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen

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