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Jesus is betrayed.

Lenten justice and peace meditation for Tuesday of Holy Week

Readings: Isaiah 49:1-6 -- John 13:21-33, 36-38 -- Psalm 71

Day two of the betrayal of the Lord.

The LORD speaks to the Servant while still in his Mother's womb.  He is alive, nestled beneath the heart of his holy Mother, Mary.  Formed as an instrument of Justice and reparation from the womb, the Servant sings a song of liberation.  Not only will the Servant be a blessing to Israel, all the ends of the earth -- the Gentiles -- will be saved and blessed.

In today's Gospel, that Servant is at risk of betrayal and death. Violence from strangers is bad, but when it comes from your  closest friends and associates, the situation becomes even more grave. How quick was this man who had walked many miles with Jesus and the other apostles to betray Him who had given so much!

Lest we judge him too harshly, consider how quick we are in our own ways to betray Jesus, for alas, "we are Judas".

We see Jesus by the roadside, begging for change, and we look the other way. We tell outrageous lies about the poor, and feel good about it. We support political systems operated by the rich and powerful, for the benefit of the rich and powerful. We use the law to loot the poor so we can pay lower taxes. We cheer with bloodlust in our voices, crying out loudly, "Crucify him, Crucify him", demanding death for the children of Afghanistan and Iraq whom we deliberately abandoned to their fate. We, the Roman Catholics of this nation could have stood against those unjust wars but we did not. Led by our own bishops, we abandoned our moral duties of solidarity and made a golden calf that we call America, and we worship that false god.

Our legislatures and congresses convene amidst much great blather of piety --  prayers are said, hymns are sung -- and legislation is written that betrays Christ and all that Christianity has ever stood for.  Conservatives and liberals alike rejoice in the orgy of greed,  gluttony, and licentiousness that passes for governance in this era. Why are they able to do this? Because we who take upon ourselves the name of Christian are quick to betray our own Lord. We torture and murder Christ with our many betrayals of his Gospel. Like Judas, we gain a short term benefit from our sin.

We think we are so pious, but all too often, are we not like Peter -- quick to proclaim our faith, and equally quick, when the going gets political, to betray the Lord for whom we previously affirmed our faith?

Prayer intentions today:

+ Pray for those who are risk of betrayal and violence. Pray for strength that you will not betray Jesus.

Praxis today:

+ When you hear or see someone betraying Jesus, do not deny your relationship with Him by your silence.

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