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Wednesday, April 8, 1998

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Holy Week

Isaiah 50:4-9
Psalm 69:8-10, 21-22, 31, 33-34
Matthew 26:14-25

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pierced ears

"Morning after morning He opens my ear." —Isaiah 50:4

Today, like last Sunday, we hear that the Lord wants to open our ears. This may be understood literally. The Lord wants to pierce our ears. This is a Jewish custom marking a person as a slave (see Ex 21:6). The Lord isn't telling us just to listen to Him in a few situations. He commands us to acknowledge His ownership of our entire lives. At this, we are tempted to rebel (Is 50:5). We naturally want to run our own lives — if not always, at least some of the time. Moreover, if we let Jesus pierce our ears and make us His slaves, we will be a sign of contradiction (see Lk 2:34) to those who have refused to become slaves of Christ. They will either repent or persecute us. They may even beat us and spit at us (Is 50:6).

If we become slaves of Jesus by not giving in to selfishness and fear, He will also make us His disciples. As disciples, our tongues will be trained (see Is 50:4, Jerusalem Bible transl.) "to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them" (Is 50:4). Slaves of Christ become disciples who speak words and live lives which transform the world for Jesus. Selfish and fearful people refuse to be slaves of Christ and so become slaves of sin (Rm 6:16) who deform the world. Choose your slavery.

Prayer:  Jesus, when I renew my baptismal promises on Easter, I will decide to be Your slave forever.

Promise:  "My appointed time draws near. I am to celebrate the Passover with My disciples in your house." —Mt 26:18

Praise:  Sandy was afraid to go into a funeral home. When her classmate died, she couldn't go near the casket. Then she met the risen Jesus, and He delivered her from the fear of death (see Heb 2:15).

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Hearing God.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 26, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 1997