Holy Wednesday Reflection

Wednesday

John 13.21-32

After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, ‘Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.’ The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking. One of his disciples—the one whom Jesus loved—was reclining next to him; Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. So while reclining next to Jesus, he asked him, ‘Lord, who is it?’ Jesus answered, ‘It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.’ So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot. After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, ‘Do quickly what you are going to do.’ Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the common purse, Jesus was telling him, ‘Buy what we need for the festival’; or, that he should give something to the poor. So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.

When he had gone out, Jesus said, ‘Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.

In what follows my aim is to provide something for you to reflect on in the silence that follows.  If you find something that you engage with please feel free to stay with it and stop listening to me – what you reflect on for yourself is more important than what I say.

So far this week we have looked at what kind of disciple we are, and how to use our gifts and then the implications of living out our discipleship and where it might lead us to.  Today we are going to look at how we deal with our own failure to accept God’s will for us.

How often do we fail God?

Can we accept forgiveness for the times we betray Jesus?

Can we accept God’s will for us?

Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me – What?  Only one?  Did the disciples not betray Jesus by falling asleep while he prayed –by running away when he was arrested – by disappearing for his crucifixion?  Did Thomas not betray Jesus by insisting on proof?  Did Peter not betray Jesus by denying him three times?

And what about you?  How often, and in how many ways do you betray Jesus?

We are called to follow him – to go where he goes – we know his disciples did not understand at the end, and yet earlier in his mission he sent them out to “cure the sick … and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’”

What are you afraid of?  What stops you reaching out to those Jesus reached out to?  To those who are different to you; to those who society has rejected?

Do you find yourself judging those on the outside?  Do you judge yourself by God’s standards?  Can you forgive yourself for your failings the way Jesus forgives the disciples?  Can you accept God’s forgiveness when you get things wrong?

Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him

Can you see the glory of the crucifixion?  Do you see it as triumph or as tragedy?

When your plans do not come to fruition – when God does not seem to answer your prayers – how do you feel?

How easy do you find it to accept that God’s plan might be different to yours?  That God’s will might be different to yours?

How often do we fail God?

Can we accept forgiveness for the times we betray Jesus?

Can we accept God’s will for us?

Lord Jesus Christ, we confess we have failed you as did your first disciples.
We ask for your mercy and your help.

Our selfishness betrays you: Lord, forgive us.  Christ have mercy.

We fail to share the pain of your suffering: Lord, forgive us.
Christ have mercy.

We run away from those who abuse you: Lord, forgive us. Christ have mercy.

We are afraid of being known to belong to you: Lord, forgive us.
Christ have mercy.

May the Father forgive us by the death of his Son and strengthen us to live in the power of the Spirit all our days.
Amen.

Loving God, we thank you for the forgiveness you shower on us.  Help us to accept that you are a God of forgiveness who loves to set us free from the effects of our sin.  Help us too in our attempts to resist temptation and to hold fast to you.

We ask all this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

Hear the teaching of Jesus:
‘Blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it.’
Go now to do God’s will;
and the blessing …

Go in Peace to love and serve the Lord
In the name of Christ Amen

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