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“See, my servant shall prosper, he shall be raised high and greatly exalted…Though harshly treated, he submitted and did not open his mouth; Like a lamb led to slaughter or a sheep silent before shearers, he did not open his mouth…But it was the Lord’s will to crush him with pain. By making his life as a reparation offering, he shall see his offspring, shall lengthen his days, and the Lord’s will shall be accomplished through him,” (Isaiah 52:13, 53:7,10).
Today is Good Friday. A spirit of glory marks this day against a backdrop of death and suffering. The fourth and final Suffering Servant song, cited above, prefigures Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. The Servant breaks the hold of sin and death with silence, gentleness, and vulnerability. This is Yahweh’s will for his Servant and his will for his people.
Pope Francis spelled out the implications for this in a recent general audience: “Holy Week challenges us to step outside ourselves so as to attend to the needs of others: those who long for a sympathetic ear, those in need of comfort or help. We should not simply remain in our own secure world, that of the ninety-nine sheep who never strayed from the fold, but we should go out, with Christ, in search of the one lost sheep, however far it may have wandered. Holy Week is not so much a time of sorrow, but rather a time to enter into Christ’s way of thinking and acting. It is a time of grace given us by the Lord so that we can move beyond a dull or mechanical way of living our faith, and instead open the doors of our hearts, our lives, our parishes, our movements or associations, going out in search of others so as to bring them the light and the joy of our faith in Christ.”
Written by Sarah Ciotti
Reviewed by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD
 Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved.
 Adrian Nocent, OSB, The Easter Season (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1977), 64-93.
 Walter Brueggemann, Isaiah 40-66 (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1998) 141-150.
 Francis I, General Audience, March 27, 2013.
The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission by Surgeworks, Inc for the Divine Office Catholic Ministry. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2011 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved. (121)
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