Shall we betray Jesus today?
Meditation on justice and peace for the Wednesday of Holy Week
Readings: Isaiah 50: 4-9 -- Matthew 26:4-25 -- Psalm 69
Today we read again of God's Suffering Servant. He is
well spoken to those who are weary. His words bring life
and resuscitation. He gives his back to be beaten, his
face is not shielded from blows and spit. He is steadfast
and certain throughout persecution and will triumph over
those who persecute him.
All of which is fine and sufficiently pious . . . but. .
. enough betrayal already! Three days we have read
about Judas and Christ. How much more betrayal can
we handle? Well, indeed, until such time as we stop
betraying Christ, we will need to continue to hear this
story again and again and again. Maybe eventually we
will get the point. Our discomfort with the repetition is
evidence of the need.
SO the price for Jesus was 30 pieces of silver. Not
exactly a princely sum, no doubt the rulers thought they
were getting a bargain. Various authorities suggest
it was the equivalent of maybe 5-6 weeks wages. Which is
to say, betraying Jesus seems to have paid well. It
was, shall we say, an instant gratification?
We don't know if money was the motivation of Judas.
Some say that he was a nationalist, and was disappointed
that Jesus was not leading an armed insurrection.
Perhaps he hoped that the spectacle of a rigged trial and
death sentence for this saintly prophet would spark a
What is our price for betraying Jesus? Do we receive the
approval of our friends and families? Do we get a feeling
of pride as we see our nation march off to a war that
somehow validates us as human beings? Does our heart beat
faster as we contemplate the bombs destroying our enemies?
Do we deliberately ignore the detail that those bombs also
incinerate children? When we turn away from the poor --
whether they be at a stop light with a sign or the
children of Iraq and Afghanistan -- do we justify our
actions by feelings of personal superiority? "I am sure
glad I am not like him." Or her as the case may be. Do we
whisper lies to ourselves so that we feel better about
Our inability to understand the consequences of our actions notwithstanding, the Bible says, "Sow not in furrows of injustice lest you reap a seven-fold harvest." We can see the fulfillment of this wisdom saying every night on the evening news.
What Judas did was monstrously wrong, but before we rise up against him in judgment, shouldn't we first ask ourselves how we have betrayed the Jesus who is among us today?
Prayer intentions today:+ Pray for a tender conscience regarding the sin of betraying the Jesus who is among us today.
Praxis today:+ Today is a day of quiet before the storm. Be still and quiet and know that the Lord is God.