Today is the last day of Lent. It is hard to believe how quickly it has gone by. We begin our Lenten journey with the hope of changing our hearts and transforming ourselves and others through acts of kindness, prayer, and fasting. If we have missed an opportunity, it is never too late.
In today’s gospel, there is no miracle or parable. Judas was one of the chosen ones. A friend who followed Jesus faithfully dined with him, listened to his teachings and witnessed countless miracles. Yet, Judas chose to harden his heart and betray for a few silver pieces. Why Judas chose this path and his eternal fate remains a mystery. In discussing Judas in 2006, Pope Benedict admonishes us not to judge Judas but to leave judgment to God, who is infinitely merciful and just, and focus our attention on our friendship with Jesus. Do we take our friendship with Jesus for granted?
Betrayal is painful. When not acknowledged, it causes immense grief and broken relationships. Judas had a moment to acknowledge his betrayal, missing the opportunity to seek forgiveness leading to his self-destruction. We have all experienced betrayal. Have we held onto the hurt? Have we betrayed others and ignored the broken relationship?
One of Father Eymard’s close friends, Mrs. d’Andigne, suffered emotional pain from her personal trials. He comforts her with these words: the essential thing which should never weaken is to act through pure faith in mercy, in the goodness and power of God.
Will today be a missed opportunity or a day of mercy and letting go?
Lord Jesus Christ, you have taught us to be merciful like the heavenly Father and have told us that whoever sees you sees Him. Show us your face, and we will be saved. You are the visible face of the invisible Father, of the God who manifests his power above all by forgiveness and mercy. Let the Church be your visible face in the world, its Lord risen and glorified. Send your Spirit and consecrate every one of us with its anointing. We ask this through Mary, Mother of Mercy, you who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen (Taken from Pope Francis Prayer of the Jubilee Year of Mercy)
Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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