The Word of God

The True Cost of Words

Reflection on Mass Reading for April 16, 2019

George Bernard Shaw is credited with saying that the “single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” While there are many different explanations and approaches to explain and or further expand on this thought, for today let us consider what Jesus has done for us and how we respond based on what we have in the dramatic unfolding of events in the Gospel as we move through Holy Week this year. First we begin with the explosive observation that Jesus makes to His closest friends that one of them is about to betray Him and send Him to death: “Reclining at table with his disciples, Jesus was deeply troubled and testified, ‘Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.’” Each Apostle in the upper room took the phrase in a different light. One or two began to blame themselves. Perhaps a few couldn’t or wouldn’t believe what they just heard. Peter impulsively sprang to action and pledged undying loyalty and protection while Judas knew exactly who the Lord was talking about. 

“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.” On this Tuesday in Holy Week, we are called to pay even closer attention to what is being said to each of us as it may relate to our individual circumstances especially in our spiritual lives. When you hear, “one of you is about to betray me,” what is the first thing that comes to your heart and mind? Is there any evidence whatsoever that would or could suggest betrayal in our lives? The next pertinent question would then be, to whom or what? To God? Our spouse? Our family and friends? The reality is simple during this very holy time: everything that is uttered and celebrated has deep meaning and significance and must be addressed with courage and fidelity.  We must make this week different by what we do with it. Now, lift that up in prayer and wait patiently for the inspiration that will come, guaranteed!

Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves. Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.  Brené Brown

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