By Carol Younger
“but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed.
It would be better for that man if he had not been born.” ~ Matthew 26:24
Spy Wednesday is an ominous title for a Holy Weekday. A day to be avoided. On this day Judas goes to the Temple of Jerusalem to ask how much money to betray the Son of God. You would think we Catholics would just have a plain Wednesday Mass this week. Why does the Church use this Gospel during this holiest week?
The surprising answer? To remind us that it could have been me, you, or anyone else who betrayed Him. Every time the choice is sin, we betray His love, His self-offering, His redemption of us from sin. Small betrayals, such as Judas’ pilfering from the purse to help the poor that Judas kept for Jesus’ disciples led to the corruption of the heart.
Our remembered betrayals are painful as we hear that Judas accepts 30 pieces of silver and begins looking for opportunities to hand Jesus over. At the Last Supper, Jesus warns all the disciples, “one of you will betray me”, (Mt 26:21). Jesus makes a final attempt to save Judas. Jesus’ sacrifice will happen, “but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for that man if he had not been born,” (Mt 26:24b).
Sin’s mortal danger always starts small, something no one will notice, something we believe will not matter to anyone. God tries correcting these first beginnings of evil. Yet, even at the last minute, even moments before the deed, Judas has the chance to change. To change from sin, to abandon despair, to throw himself on the Divine Mercy of God. Jesus is looking directly at Judas and at each of us. On this last day of Lent, what will you say to Jesus?
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
Call to Action
Choose someone who offended you. Take time today to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet for that person, even if you do not feel like it. At the same time, release your feelings against him or her. “Forgiveness makes you free!” (Father Ubald Rugirangoga)
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