Gospel: 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?”
“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.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
The Mass intention is for Mary O Brien RIP.
One of the parting words Fr John told us before we went on total lockdown last year was “Look after yourself.” For me, he was not just referring to the physical aspect of care, although that would be our top priority, but also to our spiritual aspect. This reminder ties in neatly with another exhortation he told us: “Protect your sanctity.” Indeed, if we do not look after our sanctity, it would be easy for the Devil to snatch us.
In today’s Gospel, we read how Judas made a deal with the chief priests and looked for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them. For thirty pieces of silver, Judas betrayed his friend and Master. Why did Judas do such a horrible thing? I think he did not look after himself, spiritually that is. In the Gospel last Holy Monday, we read that Judas was a thief who dipped his fingers into the contributions. He failed to follow Jesus’ teaching: “You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matthew 6:24). He had wrong expectations of Jesus. Having unmet expectations, he felt it is not worth following the Son of God. His words to the chief priests unravel his true personality: “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” Failing to grow in grace, he was an easy catch for the Devil and his minions who were disgruntled with Jesus’ ministry. We too can end up like Judas. This Holy Week let us look after our sanctity. Little as it may be, let us turn to (and not turn away from!) Jesus in whose Sacred Heart our restless hearts will find rest.
- How did Jesus satisfy (or fail) your expectations?
- How did you respond when Jesus failed your expectations?
- How do you protect your sanctity?
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your Word today. We offer you our poor hearts that have often looked for satisfaction elsewhere. Bring us back into Your Sacred Heart where we can experience lasting happiness and peace. Amen.
Suggested Lenten penance: Give alms to a needy person or cause.