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János Pentelei Molnár

The Thirty Pieces of Silver, 1909

A reading of the holy Gospel according to Mt 26:14-25

One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” They paid him thirty pieces of silver, and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over. On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples approached Jesus and said, “Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?” He said, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The teacher says, AMy appointed time draws near; in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples.”‘“ The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered, and prepared the Passover. When it was evening, he reclined at table with the Twelve. And while they were eating, he said, “Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” Deeply distressed at this, they began to say to him one after another, “Surely it is not I, Lord?” He said in reply, “He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me is the one who will betray me. The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for that man if he had never been born.” Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” He answered, “You have said so.”

REFLECTION What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?“

When did Judas stop going to Jesus to just be with Him and talk? When did he forsake his friendship and love for Jesus? When did he get the idea to betray Him?

When we know the value of something we set the price and do not accept anything less for it. Yet, Judas asked the chief priests to set the price and with thirty pieces of silver it was a done deal!

What happened to his soul? Had he not seen the miracles, looked at His love and kindness, had long intimate conversations with Him? Had Jesus not being good to him?

He was a thief and loved material things. Judas allowed himself to get cold yet pretended to be one of them. This did not happen overnight but it was a series of sins each one building on the other. The disloyalty grew, the greed became an addiction. He had lost his way and was out of touch with the Lord‘s love, mercy and goodness.

Can it happen to me? Can I be a Judas—pretending for many to see, but my interior is rotting and I have no core no baseline to follow?

Know what is important. Keep it and nurture it. Find peace, persevering for that time alone with God that brings only Him into my soul. All else is rubbish if I want eternity with Him.

Note how gentle and kind the Lord is towards Judas. Would I have reacted as Jesus toward Judas? I would have been judgmental, cynical, and self righteous . Possibly doing my best to bring that Judas down? After all, the betrayal was going to be with a kiss, a sign of friendship.

Ha!! But I fail to see my betrayal to Jesus when I commit sin. It happens every day in the way I think, act and treat Him.

With humility and hope may I still see my Jesus beckoning me toward Him, holding the door open and receiving me with open arms as I ask for forgiveness.

He loves each and everyone of us. May we take care to be patient and persevere in following Him and allowing Him to care for us.

Have mercy on me, God, in accord with your merciful love;
in your abundant compassion blot out my transgressions. 
(Psalm 51:3)

God bless you.


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