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?”
“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.”
As we move toward the Holy Triduum starting on Thursday, we read about Judas the betrayer. What could have caused Judas to betray Jesus in such a way? Surely Judas had initially responded to Jesus’ call with enthusiasm when He said, “Come follow me”. Did Judas become disillusioned with this type of Messiah? Did holding the money bag become too much of a temptation for him? Did he become jealous of the other apostles and decide to do something to get attention? We can’t get into the mind of Judas, but from what we read he certainly lost his way.
Have you ever betrayed a friend?
If so, what caused you to do so?
None of us are beyond what Judas did to Jesus. We are all sinners and at any moment could betray our best friend and/or the Lord. “There but for the grace of God go I.
I have betrayed good friends in the past. I didn’t wake up in the morning thinking, “I’m going to betray a friend today”. But when I move away from the Lord in prayer and when I start focusing on myself, that is when I have fallen. Sin is wanting what I want, right now. Love is seeking the best for the other.
Do I notice this dynamic in my life?
Do I notice selfishness?
Do I truly seek the best for others or is that just a guise to get what I want?
Let us take time this Holy Week to look into our hearts and test our motivations.
What is the deepest desire of my heart?
Is it truly to know, to love and to serve the Lord?
Or is my desire to be known, to be loved, to be God?
Lord, I come before you as a sinner. As I reflect on what Judas did to you, I am reminded that I betray you daily with my thoughts, words and actions. That is not my desire, but I get distracted away from You. I start to focus on the things of this world and my own wants and desires. This Holy Week, I open my heart to you in a new way. I ask you to fill me with your grace, your light and your strength in order to make you my top priority. Give me persistence in prayer, so that my heart burns with your love and the desire to serve you above all else. Help me to be selfless, trusting that your grace and love is sufficient for me.