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Wednesday, April 19, 2000

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Holy Week

Isaiah 50:4-9
Psalm 69:8-10, 21-22, 31, 33-34
Matthew 26:14-25

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i'm beginning to look a lot like _____

"Then Judas, His betrayer, spoke: 'Surely it is not I, Rabbi?' Jesus answered, 'It is you who have said it.' " —Matthew 26:25

Today is the fourth of six straight days in which we read about Judas' part in crucifying Jesus. At first, we don't believe we have much in common with Judas. We can hardly imagine ourselves betraying Christ with a kiss (Lk 22:48) and selling Him for thirty pieces of silver (Mt 26:15). We may not be the best Christians, but we don't think we are betraying Christ. Peter, for example, probably could not imagine himself being like Judas (see Mt 26:35), although, when he denied Christ three times, Peter was like Judas.

In fact, Judas probably did not think he was being like Judas, as we think of him in retrospect. Judas possibly thought that betraying Christ with a kiss wasn't really a betrayal because Jesus would get free from His persecutors, as He had on other occasions. When Judas sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, he probably didn't expect Jesus to be killed, for when Christ was condemned, Judas returned the betrayal money and committed suicide (Mt 27:3-5).

Hardly anyone thinks he's like Judas, but all people are like Judas because of their sins. St. Francis of Assisi stated: "Nor did demons crucify Him; it is you who have crucified Him and crucify Him still, when you delight in your vices and sins" (quoted in Catechism, 598). Be like Jesus, not like Judas.

Prayer:  Father, in this Great Jubilee, may I see the Judas in me and repent.

Promise:   "Morning after morning He opens my ear that I may hear; and I have not rebelled, have not turned back." —Is 50:4

Praise:  When tempted to self-pity, Maria contemplates the crucified Christ, and He changes her heart.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, October 4, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 12, 1999