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Tuesday, April 2, 1996

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Holy Week

Isaiah 49:1-6
Psalm 71
John 13:21-33, 36-38

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"be quick"

"Be quick about what you are to do." —John 13:27

After Satan had entered Judas' heart, Jesus told Judas to be quick. Jesus had already tried to lead Judas to repentance. After Judas had definitively and finally refused God's grace, Jesus knew that Satan would use Judas to torture, brutalize, and crucify Him. Therefore, Jesus had nothing more to say to Judas except that he should be quick to get it over with. Like any human being, Jesus didn't want to suffer any longer than He had to.

Even though Jesus was executed quickly (within a few hours after His arrest), the day of Jesus' death probably seemed to Him to last forever. Just thinking about it caused His sweat to become as drops of blood (Lk 22:44). For God, one day can be as a thousand years (2 Pt 3:8), and the day of Jesus' death must have felt like many thousands of years. On the cross, time may almost stop dead; a second may seem like a lifetime. Jesus' death was anything but quick, and He refused to take any drugs to kill His consciousness of time (Mk 15:23). He suffered not just a slow death but the slowest death. He suffered all this for love of you.

This is the holiest week of the year. Jesus is calling us to repent. "Be quick" about it (Jn 13:27).

Prayer:  Jesus, are You slow to return or are we slow to repent? (see 2 Pt 3:9)

Promise:  "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." —Is 49:4

Praise:  Charles goes to confession the first week of each month.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, October 10, 1995

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 13, 1995