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." The Gospel of the Lord
We are on the cusp of the most Sacred days of the Liturgical Year, the Triduum. Let us Pray; Passion of Christ, strengthen us.
I wanted to post this today and then leave you only Sacred Art for the remainder of the days to ponder. Each day there will be a piece of art, that will lead you to ponder these sacred days. (I changed my mind on that, because some of you in college or elsewhere, can't make all the Triduum services, so I hope I can bring you through your heart, into the presence of Jesus, in these Sacred days, walking them closely with Him, because Jesus loves you, He loves you so deeply He wants you close to him!)
The first point to ponder: "What are you willing to give me, if I hand him over to you?" This is THE question we ask, of 'sin' when we first 'entertain sin.' "What are you willing to give me?" What pleasure? greed? self satisfaction? what will you give me sin? If I hand over my closeness, my relationship, my possession of Jesus in the peace and depth of my heart? What do you have to offer me sin? We dialogue with sin and when we do that, we dialogue with the evil one, who is quick to slither over and offer his limited empty, passing baubles that are lifeless and rob us of Jesus and for what? A limited (30 pieces of silver) 'pleasure'. The sentence ends with the words; "They paid him 30 pieces of silver, and from that time on, he looked for an opportunity to hand him over." We see the full circle of sin....1) it is first conceived in the mind, by talking with sin, that dialogue with sin and with the evil one 2) it is consented to in the mind and 3) it seeks the time and place of acting on it, that deliberate choosing of sin is now in the heart. We must examine the sin in our hearts, that choosing of something over Jesus. Don't be afraid to look at it, look at it WITH Jesus-
The second point to ponder: "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?" We can feel the deep pain in the hearts of the disciples, they are afraid of 'themselves', of their capability to sin; to separate themselves from Jesus, even when they are so close to Him. This is what we all feel, that precarious place of being so close to the precipice of moving away from Jesus, in order to 'pick up' a passing pleasure. You feel them almost saying; 'please tell me I am not capable of doing what I would never want to do-betray you.' Jesus responds with words, that perhaps didn't comfort, because maybe they had all dipped their bread in the dish by now-we don't know. But let us ponder the title here for a moment, by which they address Jesus. 'Surely it is not I Lord?" Look at Judas response to the same question of our Lord. "Surely it is not I Rabbi?" What is different? What is the difference in calling Jesus, Lord of my life, and Rabbi-Teacher in my life? Is Jesus the Lord, the Master, the Lead, the sole ruler of your heart and soul, or is he a Teacher, that teaches, but you place limits on his 'domain' over you, he is teacher but not 'ALL" not ruler, not Lord of your life?
Prayer: Jesus in my heart, I believe in your tender love for me, I love you Jesus. (Mother Teresa)