Monday of Holy Week
Isaiah 42:1-7 + John 12:1-11
Here is my servant whom I uphold, / my chosen one with whom I am pleased ….
The Old Testament’s Book of the Prophet Isaiah contains four brief passages called “servant songs”. Isaiah never names the servant who is described. But in the earliest years of the Church, these servant songs were sung in praise of Christ, who fulfilled during Holy Week what they proclaim.
The First Reading on Monday of Holy Week presents the first of these four servant songs. We might imagine God the Father speaking these words of His only-begotten Son, whom He sent from the paradise of Heaven into our world of sin and death.
Jesus is a servant. All the words that Jesus speaks and all that He does and bears this week reveals Him as a servant. Yet He’s a servant in a two-fold way, and we ought at the beginning of Holy Week reflect upon both of these.
Whom is Jesus serving through the sacred events of Holy Week? Secondly, He is serving us. All that He speaks, does, and suffers is for us: to bring us salvation.
First, however, Jesus is serving His heavenly Father. During Holy Week it’s easy for us to lose sight of God the Father. Our view can become myopic, focused simply upon Jesus saving us. But in saving us from the power of sin and death, Jesus is preparing us for new life. This new life is given to us even during our earthly days through the gifts, the fruits, and the grace of the Holy Spirit. But this new life in this world is only a foretaste of eternal life with our Father in Heaven. Jesus is serving His Father during Holy Week because God the Father longs for each us to enter into His company.