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?”
As we read today’s Gospel, we find the beginning story of Judas’ betrayal. He seeks out the chief priests and says to them, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?”. Thirty pieces of silver are his reward. The story goes on to the Twelve celebrating the Passover with Jesus. He tells them that one of them will betray him and the eleven answer, “Surely it is not I, Lord?”. Judas answers, “Surely, it is not I, Rabbi?”
Yes, Judas betrayed Jesus. Yes, he lied to Him, too, at the Last Supper. But what does this have to do with us? Well, I think all of us know the story of Judas Iscariot. We know it and shake our heads as we hear how he chose the love of money over loving Christ. We know how his story ends, and it breaks our hearts. I believe Jesus calls us to ask, when have we responded, “Surely it is not I, Lord?”. Have there been times in your life where you have chosen the silver? This is definitely unique to each individual person, but where have you betrayed the Lord? Where have you said no to His love or to the prompting of His Spirit? I know for myself, I can look at Judas and feel much sorrow for him. He loved the silver more than he loved the Lord. I can also look into my own heart and reflect on my own sins and mistakes throughout my life and pinpoint all the times that I, too, loved something more than I loved the Lord. In this Holy Week, may we turn our hearts with true repentance back to Jesus. May we love Him more than anything or anyone in our lives. We know the story, and we know that Judas could have written a different ending to his story if he had repented. May we do what Judas did not, may we run back to the Father and be embraced by His love and mercy. I pray that we all embrace the cross and resurrection in a new way this Easter, that we may receive the love and mercy He longs to give us. Amen.
Briana is the Pastoral Minister at St. Mark Church in Cleveland, OH. She is also a district manager at Arbonne. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Catechetics from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, OH and is excited to use these skills to serve the Church. “My soul has been refined and I can raise my head like a flower after a storm.” -St. Therese