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April 16, 2019

This is the third day of Holy Week. The texts of the gospel of these days place before us the terrible facts which will lead to the condemnation and death of Jesus. Today they focus on the betrayal that made it possible for Jesus to be arrested. It must have contributed enormously to the suffering of Jesus.

“Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” These words, coming from Jesus, seem horrifying. How could anyone betray Jesus? But, as the gospel will go on to tell us, Judas is not the only one. Peter also will deny Jesus three times. Peter, well-meaning but weak, swears that he will go all the way with Jesus, even to death. This second betrayal is worse in some ways. At least Judas slunk out of the upper room in darkness.

No wonder the evangelist tells us that Jesus “was troubled in spirit” when he foretold his betrayal. It’s one thing to be betrayed by a stranger or an enemy, but to be handed over to his enemies by a close friend, by one who had shared intimately at table with him must have added to Jesus’ pain and suffering.

We do not know when Judas left the supper. We, however, like him share at the Lord’s Table frequently. And yet, how many us can truthfully say that we have never betrayed Jesus? We leave the Lord’s Supper, at times conscious that there are areas in our lives that are displeasing to him. What must we do to prevent this from separating us from Christ?

How do I at times betray or deny Jesus?

Let Us Pray:

O Lord, grant me the grace to imitate Peter, who denied you in his weakness, but followed that by his profound repentance. And let everyone draw from this example of contrition, that even if we have fallen we may not despair, but always remember that we can become worthy of forgiveness”

 

Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)

 


About Paul J. Bernier, SSS

Blessed Sacrament Father Paul J. Bernier served for many years as the editor of Emmanuel. He is a popular writer, preacher, and director of retreats. Among his many published works is Ministry in the Church: A Historical and Pastoral Approach, Second Edition, published by Orbis Books in 2015.