Malvern Minute – Wednesday
Malvern Minute

 

April 12, 2017 – Wednesday of Holy Week

The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give us his life as a ransom for many.

Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (mpoletunow@malvernretreat.com)

Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (26:14 – 25)

One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot,
went to the chief priests and said,
“What are you willing to give me
if I hand him over to you?”
They paid him thirty pieces of silver,
and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread,
the disciples approached Jesus and said,
“Where do you want us to prepare
for you to eat the Passover?”
He said,
“Go into the city to a certain man and tell him,
‘The teacher says, my appointed time draws near;
in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples.'”
The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered,
and prepared the Passover.

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?”
He said in reply,
“He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me
is the one who will betray me.
The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him,
but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed.
It would be better for that man if he had never been born.”
Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply,
“Surely it is not I, Rabbi?”

He answered, “You have said so.”
Reflect: What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you? Even in the midst of the preparation for the holy celebration of Passover, the betrayers of Jesus are plotting against him. Jesus is literally “sold out” for 30 pieces of silver. Judas was attracted by the lure of money. His friendship and loyalty to the rabbi, his teacher, meant nothing if he could fill his pockets with a small financial treasure by turning Jesus in to the authorities. How can we think of putting a price on someone’s life; let alone on someone who has healed, forgiven, provided new hope, brought people back to life, and showed people about God’s love and mercy? It is, however, a real life challenge for many of us. If status, privilege, power, or financial/material gain becomes our primary goal, we run the risk of putting our faith and our trust in Jesus into a subordinate position. Ultimately, it becomes a decision about our priorities: What is really most important in life? Holy Week can be a good opportunity to assess the direction of our life. Maybe our name isn’t Judas, but could we in some way be asking based on our priorities in life: “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?”

Questions: What is most important in my life? In the big scheme of things, what place do I give my relationship with Jesus and the practice of my faith? Am I selling out Jesus for the sake of personal gain?

Pray: Loving God, your Son accepted the yoke of the cross so that the power of the enemy would not prevail. Protect us and grant us the grace of his resurrection.  I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

Hail to you, our King, obedient to the Father; you were led to your crucifixion like a gentle lamb to the slaughter.

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