NaHudas ka na ba?
Holy Wednesday of Holy Week: Traditionally this day was called “Spy Wednesday” because today before the crucifixion Judas conspired to hand Jesus over. For this he was paid 30 pieces of silver.
The betrayal of Jesus by His very own disciple is a powerful reminder of the horrific possibilities within every human heart. There is much to learn from Judas, a man who studied under Jesus Christ Himself and yet betrayed Him with the unmitigated gall of a kiss.
Why was Judas able to do this to Jesus and betray Him for thirty pieces of silver? Did Judas really belong to Jesus? From all indications, Judas never belonged to Jesus. He may have verbally aligned himself to Jesus but never really believed and followed Him. His relationship with Jesus was very superficial. This is why it was quite easy for him to exchange Jesus for silver. Man may claim allegiance to God yet never submit his life and soul to Him.
What Judas witnessed to us reveals that one can be in Christ’s service and still not know Him and acknowledge Him as Savior and Lord. When we seek Him for own purposes and attempt to make Him something we want Him to be, when we do not allow Him to prevail in our lives and when we make Him only as an afterthought, when the totality of the world’s possessions and treasures are more valuable to us than our relationship with Him, when we compromise our values and refuse to turn away from sin, we become a replica of Judas Iscariot and are destined towards total destruction
The story of the betrayal of Jesus still resonates in the hearts of men today, not only because of the audacity of Judas’ evil deed but it highlighted the weakness and wickedness of our flesh. We may attend church regularly and give Jesus intellectual assent but not our hearts, our lives and our total being. We could call Him King but only to assume our own thrones over His. We may approach Jesus with a symbolic kiss but never dare embrace Him. We may proclaim all our praises and worship and choose to be His disciple, yet not embrace a life of humble witnessing, self-denial and sacrifice. We may project to be loyal and faithful disciples but opt to be lukewarm and indifferent to Him when life becomes difficult and being loyal to Him becomes more of a burden than a way of showing love for God and His people.
Most of us say that betrayal is the cause for friendships to fail. Friends do not always have to agree but they have to be loyal to each other. The other disciples of Jesus failed Him in a lot of ways but they remained loyal to Him. But only one of them failed Him and had the imprudence to turn his back and sell Him. That was Judas Iscariot.
Jesus gave Judas every chance to reconsider his plans and redeem himself yet he could not do it. He could not get out from the stronghold of Satan which had its beginnings when he pilfered the money box of the apostles and later on reached its peak when he sold Jesus to those who wanted to persecute Him.
As friend and brother of Jesus, have we given some thought on how we have failed Him? Was there ever an occasion that we truly betrayed Him and turned our back on Him?
This Lenten season, Jesus wants us to examine our hearts and repent for all our sins. If we pray to Him with a contrite heart, He will never forsake us. He is our help forever and we will never be disgraced.
As we approach the passion and death of our Lord Jesus, let us all give time to our God by closely scrutinizing our hearts and examining how we have betrayed Him.
Heavenly Father, give me the grace to be truly loyal and faithful to You in Word and Deed. In Jesus, I pray. Amen.