Mass Readings: April 17

First: Isaiah 50:4-7
Resp: Psalm 22:8-9,17-20,23-24
Second: Philippians 2:6-11
Gospel: Matthew 26:14-27:66

SOUNDING BOARD

"The groups preceding Him as well as those following kept crying out: 'Hosanna to the Son of David!' " –Matthew 21:9

Today begins "Holy Week." The Lord wants this week to be unlike any other week in our lives – a week of grace, sorrow, repentance, and love. The week begins with the praises of Palm Sunday, changes into the screams of the crucifixion, and ends with the dead silence of the tomb. Throughout the week, we hear the sounds of crying, whipping, hammering, and blaspheming. The sounds of Holy Week are piercing and thunderous. "Jesus cried out in a loud voice, and then gave up His spirit. Suddenly the curtain of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth quaked, boulders split, tombs opened" (Mt 27:50-52).

Eventually the roar subsides, and it's our turn to join the choir. What sound will we make? Will we be sound asleep? (Mt 26:43) Or will we betray Jesus with a quiet kiss? Will we cry: "Crucify Him"? (Mt 27:23) Or will we make an act of faith and say: "Clearly this was the Son of God!" (Mt 27:54)

The Lord God will give us a well-trained tongue to speak to the crucified Jesus a word that will proclaim His resurrection and His divinity (see Is 50:4). Dare to hear the sounds of Holy Week. Make the sounds of loving praise and faith-filled commitment. Jesus listens for you.

PRAYER: Father, may my sounds fit into the sounds of heaven.
PROMISE: "This is My blood, the blood of the covenant, to be poured out in behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins." –Mt 26:28
PRAISE: "At Jesus' name every knee must bend in the heavens, on the earth, and under the earth, and every tongue proclaim to the glory of God the Father: JESUS CHRIST IS LORD!" (Phil 2:10-11)