Monday, April 14, 2014

The Quiet Suffering Servant

Caravaggio's "Christ at the Column"
Caravaggio's "Christ at the Column"

It has been far too long since I've written here, so I thought Holy Week would be a good time to jump back into writing. At Mass for the first three weekdays of Holy Week, in preparation for the Triduum, we hear the first three Songs of the Suffering Servant in Isaiah. Go read it if you haven't heard it. The Book of the Prophet Isaiah has four songs that seem to point to the suffering of a righteous servant. We won't hear the fourth song, the most famous one, until Good Friday. This Suffering Servant is Jesus as he will be revealed to us through his Passion.

The first song from today's Mass gives us beautiful imagery about how this servant will treat the weak and broken: "A bruised reed he shall not break, and a smoldering wick he shall not quench." (See the smoldering wick as an image of weakness, easily snuffed out, whereas something like a flaming torch represents strength) This servant of God's will establish justice, but he wont trample over the weak and broken. He is going to be different in that he won't establish justice by loud preaching, but rather quietly. This quiet, gentle path to justice is that of the Lamb led to slaughter on Good Friday, but ultimately ends in the exuberant rejoicing of Easter morning. So enter into this Holy Week with the quiet justice of the Suffering Servant.


1 comment:

  1. Glad to see a new post, timely, thank you!