March 27, 2013

The Gospel Today

Wednesday of  Holy Week

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 (Sem. Jorge A. Santiago, Jr.)

Today is Holy Wednesday and our Gospel speaks of the Last Supper on which Judas Iscariot took the opportunity to betray Jesus.Jesus, who knew his disciples’ internal disposition and attitudes, said that he would be betrayed by one of them. The disciples then began to feel distressed and, one by one, asked Jesus whether they were the one whom Jesus was talking about. That includes Judas. It was as if he did not know what would happen.

This Gospel passage is one of the most disheartening stories of the Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus. It is depressing because of the disposition and action of Judas: in order to earn a small amount of money, he sold out Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. According to the Old Testament, thirty shekels or thirty pieces of silver in the price of a slave (cf. Ex. 21:32), which means Judas equated the value of his Master to the same value of a slave. What a terrible deed!

It is indeed terrible but this is also the best time to look into ourselves and our own actions. We have the tendency to be like Judas, who put Jesus and material things on equal value.In order for us to earn a little amount of money, we choose material things and worldly achievements not worthy of our time and attention,rather than Jesus. We sometimes exhaust all our efforts so that we can achieve the job position we want, even if it compromises our faith orcauses other people to suffer.We are just like Judas, whoreally made an effort to go to the chief priests to sell Jesus, compromising his beliefs and his relationship with him.

How many times have we exchanged Jesus for small amount of money just to please our worldly desire? How many times have we equatedhis value as that of a slave in our lives? This Holy Week, let us examine our lives on those circumstances and take this opportunity to confess them and do penance. Amen.

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