Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, ‘What will you give me if I betray him to you?’ They paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he began to look for an opportunity to betray him. On the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, ‘Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?’ He said, ‘Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, “The Teacher says, My time is near; I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.” ’ So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover meal. When it was evening, he took his place with the twelve; and while they were eating, he said, ‘Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.’ And they became greatly distressed and began to say to him one after another, ‘Surely not I, Lord?’ He answered, ‘The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born. ’Judas, who betrayed him, said, ‘Surely not I, Rabbi?’ He replied, ‘You have said so.’
The monks of Glenstal Abbey sing: ‘Attende Domine’ Hear us, O Lord, and have mercy, because we have sinned against you. As you sit in your familiar setting, perhaps still in self-isolation, listening to this ancient chant, which has been sung for generations, pause to remind yourself that God is present here… a God of forgiveness, gracious and loving, slow to anger, abounding in goodness. Take this moment to recognise God’s presence here, and to place yourself and all your cares in God’s loving hands.
Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Matthew.
In some places they call today “Spy Wednesday”, the day when Judas Iscariot negotiated with the Chief Priests for money to lead them to where Jesus would be, so that they could arrest him. That is the sad story of the reading that you have just heard. Do you feel something of the sadness in the story as you contemplate today?
What will the disciples have felt when they heard those words “One of you will betray me?” Place yourself in the scene as one of the disciples now… how do you find yourself reacting?
Now listen again to the story. Do you notice one phrase or sentence that stirs something for you where you are today, particularly in the face of the pandemic that is afflicting us?
Finally, bring together all the thoughts and feelings that this passage arouses in you, and turn them into a prayer to our Father or to Jesus.
We adore you, O Christ and we bless youbecause by Your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.