About Today

The Feast in the house of Simon by Frans Francken the Younger [Public domain]

Wednesday of Holy Week

“And I have not rebelled, have not turned back. I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheek to those who plucked my beard; My face I did not shield from buffets and spitting. The Lord God is my help, therefore I am not disgraced (Isaiah 50:5-7).” [1]

Today we continue our focus on Holy Week and our meditations on the four Servant songs in Isaiah. Monday we heard the Lord announce a chosen Servant, to bring sight and justice to the nations. Tuesday we read about the Savior’s mission to bring salvation to the very ends of the earth. Today’s Servant song shows the agony present in the task. Foreshadowing the Passion, we see a Servant who is suffering and insulted. Despite adversaries and darkness, the Servant remains steadfast. These three texts prepare us for death and the Cross. In the midst of these foreboding premonitions, we are reminded, though, that the Servant is not disgraced and God is ever-present, one with the mission.

In a homily Pope Francis echoed this divine mystery: “Jesus on the Cross feels the whole weight of the evil, and with the force of God’s love he conquers it, he defeats it with his resurrection. This is the good that Jesus does for us on the throne of the Cross. Christ’s Cross embraced with love never leads to sadness, but to joy, to the joy of having been saved…” [2][3][4]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
Reviewed by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD

[1] Revised Standard Version s.v., “Isaiah, The Book of.”
[2] Walter Brueggemann, Isaiah 40-66 (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1998), 119-125.
[3] Adrian Nocent, OSB, The Liturgical Year: Lent & Holy Week (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1977), 198-203.
[4] Pope Francis, Homily, March 24, 2013.

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

Liturgy of the Hours for December 05