There is something to be said for consistency. The person who can consistently do good things, can consistently performs well, is consistently able to rise to the occasion, it is this person who is usually described in glowing terms. Of course, perhaps this week especially, we are called as Catholics to acknowledge that our lives are not really very consistent. We are not always at our best.
The challenge of the first reading is consistency. The faithful servant of God is not simply the one who has occasional good moments. Morning after morning we are called to live our vocation. Morning after morning. There is no vacation from our vocation.
How is this consistency possible? God. It is all about God. It is not that we are insignificant, but it is that we must recognize that what we do comes from the God who calls us. No one knows us any better than God. Therefore, only God knows what will fulfill us, what will bring forth the kingdom of God, what will enable us to be the person we were created to be.
For it is only through Christ we are able to speak weary words, and it is only in service to Christ that the horrible things that happen to the Suffering Servant have any meaning. There is no merit is suffering for its own sake. We gain nothing by deliberately searching for suffering if we think it makes us look like more faithful to Christ. It is not our own merit that makes good things happen, but rather it is when we cooperate with the grace of God that suffering takes on meaning.
Judas reminds us that such waiting on God’s call can be most frustrating. He would rather have taken things in his own hands, and he did. And even though he felt bitter sadness about what he did, he could not allow God to take his sins away. He simply could not let go of control, even when it caused his destruction.
The Suffering Servant can speak the rousing word because the word comes from God. The suffering endured gives life because it witnesses to something greater than what is seen. It is only when the Suffering Servant lets go of control to God that salvation occurs. Can you give control to God? Surrendering to God leads to life. Clinging to control leads to suffering and death. Seek out God this week and place yourself in God’s loving and merciful hands, for doing so leads us to the life only God can give.