Scripture: Matthew 26 : 14 – 25

Betrayal

Reflection

After over two thousand years of hindsight, we find it incredible that Judas could spend three years as part of Jesus’ intimate circle of disciples and stll be able to betray him.  Its almost unthinkable! In Matthew’s gospel of the events of the Last Supper, we read that Jesus actually acknowledged to Judas that he was the betrayer after he warned the disciples that “it would be better for him if he had not been born.”

How could Judas have followed through on his plan after such a conversation with Jesus?  Was his betrayal motivated by greed, or was he so deceived that he did not believe that Jesus was who he said he was?  Therefore, Jesus’ statement about the betrayer was not credible to Judas.  Notice that Judas does not call Jesus Lord in this passage, as the other disciples do.

As we contemplate Judas’ betrayal of Jesus we must not lose sight of the fact that this was all before Jesus rose from the dead on that first Easter morning.  We have that advantage, as well as two millennia of historical witness to the power of God in Jesus Christ.  So what is our excuse?

Like the disciples, we also say, “Surely not I, Lord?”  We imagine that if we had been there we would never have betrayed Jesus.  Yet everyone there abandoned Jesus and the most vocal champion Peter denied him three times.

If we look objectively at our lives, it would be difficult not to admit that we have also abandoned, denied and perhaps even betrayed Jesus on numerous occasions, even as we call him “Lord.”

This week is calls for faithfulness.  We have been forgiven our sins – including out betrayals and now, strengthened by the grace of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and by our Lenten effort we prepare to sit at the Table of the Lord tomorrow, to accompany him in the Garden of Gethsemane and to walk the path to Calvary with him on Friday.  We learn from our failings and from Peter’s failure and we choose to remain steadfast, loyal and faithful.

Practical Suggestion

Spend a little time today planning ahead for the Triduum which commences tomorrow evening at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper.  Ease off on your activities and busyness and quieten yourself down from deep within yourself.  Let these next few days be a time of great spiritual experience for you.

Prayer

Father, strengthen me in my resolve to enter as fully as possible into the events of these next few days.  Let me be loyal and faithful so that I may experience a deep inner renewal and peace.

Amen.