by Erik Ritland
"In the cross, Jesus sets everything right."
Fully Alive’s Lenten Scriptural Commentary helps Christians get more out of Lent by taking God’s word seriously.
Mostly avoiding personal stories and anecdotes, our commentary dives deeply into the scripture readings for each day and applies them to the broader context of Lent. We use the daily Mass readings from the Catholic lectionary.
If possible, read each passage slowly, taking in each word. If you find that you’ve hurried through a reading, read it over a few more times. Let the words reverberate in your heart. After you’ve let it sink in, read our Lenten Scriptural Commentary.
Tuesday of Holy Week
In the first reading from Isaiah, God promises that His Kingdom will be open to all people. In the Gospel, the drama of Jesus’ passion begins.
Readings: Is 49:1-6/Jn 13:21-33, 36-38
Click here to read the complete text from the USCCB website
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.
(cf. Is 24: 1-6)
One revolutionary aspect of Jesus’ teaching is that access to God was no longer restricted to the Israelites, but was now available to all people.
This was seen as a scandal to the Israelites of Jesus’ time, but the promise of such a move by God is repeated over and over in the Old Testament, as it is in this reading.
Christ, through the work of the Church that He established, is “the light to the nations” that spreads the message of salvation to “the ends of the earth.”
When he [Judas] 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.
(cf. Jn 13: 21-33, 36-38)
When you look at the cross, it’s easy to see gory, hard to see glory. The world still scoffs: this is your God? This is glory?
That’s the entire point, though. In the cross, Jesus sets everything right. He sets each individual right in their hearts, freeing them from the guilt for the things they do wrong. He sets the world right, by His Kingdom message of peace, faith, hope, and love spreading throughout the world.
Erik Ritland is a writer and musician. The founder of Fully Alive Christian Media, he also created The Minnesota Sport Ramble and is a writer and copy editor for Music in Minnesota. He was Lead Staff Writer for Minnesota culture blogs Curious North and Hometown Hustle. Reach him via email.
Erik Ritland is a journalist and musician. He's the lead staff writer and podcast host of Fully Alive Christian Media and Rambling On, a blog and podcast covering sports, music, and culture.