“Woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed.”

“Spy Wednesday” has us turning to the betrayal account in Matthew (26:14-25).  This evangelist tells of Judas plotting with the chief priests to hand Jesus over for thirty pieces of silver.  The scene quickly shifts to the disciples preparing the Passover per Jesus’ instructions.  The final paragraph is Jesus and the Twelve reclining at table during the Last Supper.  As we read in John yesterday, Jesus predicts that He will be betrayed.  Jesus affirms that Judas is the betrayer in responding to the latter’s question, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” (v. 25).  Jesus’ prediction of the betrayal comes with the severe words we read at top.  May those words never be directed at us!  May we never, by our words, actions, or attitudes, fail or desert Jesus or those in whom we should see Him: the hungry, thirsty, stranger, sick, prisoner (cf. Mt 25:31-45) or lead astray “little ones” (Mt 18:5).  Unlike Judas, of whom Jesus said, “It would be better for that man if he had never been born” (v. 24), we must show that we were given life in order to advance the Kingdom of God by bringing ourselves and others into it, never despairing even if our labor is openly spurned or its fruits are difficult to discern.  Our recompense on earth is knowing that we are following God’s will; our reward in heaven will be great (Mt 5:12).

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