Yet again this week, the Mass Readings today have something to say in light of the current situation in the Church.
In the First Reading, Isaiah is reassuring himself that whatever happens will not matter.
Yes, things look very bad : ‘I made no resistance, neither did I turn away . . . I did not cover my face against insult and spittle’ – but then he goes on ‘The Lord comes to my help, so that I am untouched by the insults . . . My vindicator is here at hand . . . Who thinks he has a case against me ? Let him approach me. The Lord is coming to my help, who dare condemn me ?’
I’m sure that the Holy Father will take comfort from reading those words in today’s Mass; and let us, when we hear them, offer our prayers to God for the Holy Father, that God may support and uphold him, and defend him against the insults of those who offer him insults and spittle.
Equally, today’s Gospel ought to resonate in the hearts of a number of people just at present; specifically, a number of Bishops, Priests, and Religious : ‘alas for that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed ! Better for that man if he had never been born.’
One trusts that all those guilty of the sexual abuse of children will remember that, and turn their hearts now to repentance . . . but one may also think of those Bishops who have failed in their duty - in that respect, and perhaps in others.
Please pray for them during this Holy season, that they not be like Judas, hardening their hearts to their eternal perdition, but rather like Peter – admitting their faults, with that true contrition which leads ultimately to salvation.