WEDNESDAY OF HOLY WEEK APRIL 8, 2020
Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss--Fresco in the Collegiata of San Gimignana, Italy
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 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, my 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: And while they were eating, he said, “Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”
Betrayal!! We all know about betrayal. It is one of the most painful experiences and we all have either betrayed or been betrayed.
Some betrayals are very personal, such as a spouse who announces they are leaving you, a friend cancels vacation plans with you to go with another person, you gave your word that you would do a job for a friend and decide you are not doing it, your business partner has sold their shares in the company and did not consult with you nor include you in the decision making. There is a loss of control and loss of trust.
The level of trust qualifies how bad the betrayal is. A customer intentionally gives you a fraudulent check, or the cab driver takes you on the scenic route to your destination are also examples of trust issues but they are not personal and therefore the blow to us is soft.
Jesus, on the other hand, has never betrayed, but one of his apostles/friend is going to betray Him. Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss. The kiss of peace in the Lord's time meant intimacy, closeness, a wish and a blessing of peace. This was the signal used by Judas to betray His Lord.
I betray Jesus daily. I put prayer aside because of too much work and busy with life. I sometimes am afraid to defend my faith and fail to speak up when dirty jokes are said. I fear when there is a "bump" in the road of my plans. I make promises and then fail to honor them. I fail to do what God wants me to do because I am afraid of the outcome. Or I opt to finish wordcrush, or another episode of Father Brown over praying the rosary.
Are there times we trade Jesus for something or someone else? Taking Jesus for granted should never happen again especially knowing we owe our lives to Him.
“Is it not a sorrow to the death when your friend is turned enemy?” (Sirach 37:2)
God bless you