Holy Week – Wednesday
Reading: Matthew 26: 14-25 Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, ‘What will you give me if I betray him to you?’ They paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.
On the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, ‘Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?’ He said, ‘Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, “The Teacher says, ‘My time is near; I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.” So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover meal.
When it was evening, he took his place with the twelve; and while they were eating, he said, 'Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.’ And they became greatly distressed and began to say to him one after another, ‘Surely not I, Lord?’ He answered, ‘The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. The Son of Man does as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better if for that one not to have been born.’
Reflection This is one the saddest episodes in the Gospels. Judas, a disciple of Jesus lost his sense of direction and commitment to Jesus. He went to the chief priests and asked them what they would give him if he betrayed his Lord and Master to them. He sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver and waited for an opportunity to betray him. Jesus wished to share table fellowship at the Passover with his disciples and asked for a room in the city to be prepared for him to do so. The disciples obeyed what Jesus had asked them to do and necessary preparations were made. During the meal, Jesus foretold that he would be betrayed by one of his disciples sharing the Passover meal with him. Each in turn denied that they would betray him but Jesus identified his betrayer by stating that it was the one who had dipped his hand into the bowl with him. This act would fulfil the scriptures but grieve the heart of God; the person who had betrayed Jesus would be at risk of losing his soul.
I am invited to dip my hand into a bowl with Jesus when I share in the bread of the Eucharist. Through the grace of the Eucharist, I recognise temptations in my life where I lose my sense of direction and commitment to Jesus. I ask for the grace of conversion that I may deepen my commitment to the Lord of all life and draw ever closer to him. Prayer Lord, I ask forgiveness for the times when I have lost focus on my Christian calling; for the times when I have betrayed you; for the times when I have honoured lesser gods; for the times when I have walked away and lived without you. Through the power of the Eucharist, may I return to you; May I live for you each day of my life, Amen.