April 16, 2014

The Gospel Today

Wednesday of Holy Week

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 (Sem. Mark Ian Abu):

     It is Holy Wednesday and we are being invited by the liturgy to reflect more on the coming sufferings of Jesus which will culminate on His death on the cross. Today’s Gospel presents Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, and his act of betraying Jesus. He cooperated with the Chief Priests and Scribes who were plotting the arrest and execution of Jesus. Judas may perhaps be very disappointed with Jesus and he might be thinking that he followed a false teacher, an impostor and a blasphemer. He betrayed Jesus, his master, in exchange for thirty pieces of silver.

     We can say that Judas may not have learned anything from all the teachings of Jesus. He was treated and considered by Jesus as his friend yet he decided to just betray and exchange Him for money. What a waste! He was already there, very near to the Lord. He had experienced God’s Kingdom through his companionship with Christ but he eventually disregarded it due to doubt and disappointment. He completed his downfall by losing hope in God’s mercy and taking his own life.  Like Judas, there are also times that we easily disregard Jesus and all His teachings. We always say that we are baptized Christians, that we are followers of Christ yet when the temptations of the world come to us, we are easily blinded. Oftentimes we forget to live like Christ and share Him with others. We are proud that we are consistent in attending the Holy Mass, that we are always praying but other people cannot see any effect of those spiritual practices in our daily lives.

     With the same sentiment to that of Judas, what a waste! We are given all the opportunities to know, praise and love Jesus and to show Him that we are ready to die with Him but we cannot deny the many instances when Jesus is not our priority. On this moment of grace, this Holy Week, let us suffer together with Jesus. Let us pray to Him that we may not be blinded by our own thirty pieces of silver instead we may be His faithful witnesses to the world.

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