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Have I Denied Him?

March 30, 2021   Tuesday of Holy Week (Lectionary: 258)

Reading I   Is 49:1-6
Hear me, O islands,
listen, O distant peoples.
The LORD called me from birth,
from my mother’s womb he gave me my name.
He made of me a sharp-edged sword
and concealed me in the shadow of his arm.
He made me a polished arrow,
in his quiver he hid me.
You are my servant, he said to me,
Israel, through whom I show my glory.

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.
For now the LORD has spoken
who formed me as his servant from the womb,
That Jacob may be brought back to him
and Israel gathered to him;
And I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD,
and my God is now my strength!
It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant,
to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
and restore the survivors of Israel;
I will make you a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.

Responsorial Psalm   71:1-2, 3-4a, 5ab-6ab, 15 and 17
R. (see 15ab) I will sing of your salvation.
In you, O LORD, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me, and deliver me;
incline your ear to me, and save me.
R. I will sing of your salvation.
Be my rock of refuge,
a stronghold to give me safety,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked.
R. I will sing of your salvation.
For you are my hope, O LORD;
my trust, O God, from my youth.
On you I depend from birth;
from my mother’s womb you are my strength.
R. I will sing of your salvation.
My mouth shall declare your justice,
day by day your salvation.
O God, you have taught me from my youth,
and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds.
R. I will sing of your salvation.

Verse before the Gospel
Hail to you, our King, obedient to the Father;
you were led to your crucifixion like a gentle lamb to the slaughter.

Gospel   Jn 13:21-33, 36-38
Reclining at table with his disciples, Jesus was deeply troubled and testified,
“Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”
The disciples looked at one another, at a loss as to whom he meant.
One of his disciples, the one whom Jesus loved,
was reclining at Jesus’ side.
So Simon Peter nodded to him to find out whom he meant.
He leaned back against Jesus’ chest and said to him,
“Master, who is it?”
Jesus answered,
“It is the one to whom I hand the morsel after I have dipped it.”
So he dipped the morsel and took it and handed it to Judas,
son of Simon the Iscariot.
After Judas took the morsel, Satan entered him.
So Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.”
Now none of those reclining at table realized why he said this to him.
Some thought that since Judas kept the money bag, Jesus had told him,
“Buy what we need for the feast,”
or to give something to the poor.
So Judas took the morsel and left at once. And it was night.

When he had left, Jesus said,
“Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.
If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself,
and he will glorify him at once.
My children, I will be with you only a little while longer.
You will look for me, and as I told the Jews,
‘Where I go you cannot come,’ so now I say it to you.”

Simon Peter said to him, “Master, where are you going?”
Jesus answered him,
“Where I am going, you cannot follow me now,
though you will follow later.”
Peter said to him,
“Master, why can I not follow you now?
I will lay down my life for you.”
Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me?
Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow
before you deny me three times.”

By Nicki Mlakar 

“Deny me”.

These two simple words when put together hold so much power and weight.

To deny is to “refuse to admit the truth or existence of”.



After reading today’s Gospel, I am challenged to look inward and ask myself: When have I denied that someone is a child of God? When have I denied that I am a child of God? When have I denied that God is providing for me so tenderly?

I can admit there are people and times in my life where I have simply chosen to deny.

Maybe it is because I don't fully understand why someone is acting in a particular way. Or I can't fully believe that I am worthy and enough. Or possibly, maybe, because the road ahead seems so uncertain and rocky that I find myself looking up to God and asking “Why?”.

Jesus, when denied, looked at others with a loving gaze saying, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”.

I imagine what life like this looks like:

Looking at others with the eyes of my heart.
Looking inward and loving myself as God does.
Allowing myself to be in full suspense of the uncertain recognizing that absolutely everything is purposeful, nothing is useless.



His unwavering strength, clear understanding, and whole-hearted trust inspires me in these challenging times. I find myself merely saying, “Jesus, I need you.”. And in doing so, I am humbled and reminded not only who I am but WHOSE I am.

He came down to Earth to be denied so that I could be set free.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Nicki Mlakar strives to not just live but to feel alive. Nicki is always up for an adventure! She loves to travel, try new things, and hear others’ stories. She aspires to be exactly where her feet are- living intentionally with others, herself, and in communion with God as she invites Him into her daily life. To get to know Nicki better, follow her here.

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