First Station The arrest of Jesus
Mark 14:41-52 1 He came a third time and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Enough! The hour has come; the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand." 43 Immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; and with him there was a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. 44 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, "The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard." 45 So when he came, he went up to him at once and said, "Rabbi!" and kissed him. 46 Then they laid hands on him and arrested him. 47 But one of those who stood near drew his sword and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 48 Then Jesus said to them, "Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? 49 Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. But let the scriptures be fulfilled." 50 All of them deserted him and fled. 51 A certain young man was following him, wearing nothing but a linen cloth. They caught hold of him, 52 but he left the linen cloth and ran off naked.
Sehet - Wen? -den Brautigam is the opening call to contemplation of Bach’s Matthew Passion, and we know from Jesus’ parables how the bridegroom is to be received. He is to be met by dancers with their lamps lit to escort him in. Here the reception committee is a grim bunch of heavies guided in the dark by Judas, Jesus good friend, a parody of the best man.
There are two kinds of handing over which make this scene possible: the handing over of Jesus by Judas, the betrayal, and the handing over of Jesus by Jesus who has committed his destiny to the will of the Father.
Where am I in this scene? Am I with the heavies because it is my job and I don’t think too much about it? Am I with the disciples who know only how to answer violence with violence? Do I feel close to Judas whatever plan he has in mind? Do I identify with Jesus in his strong submission to the Father’s will? Am I like the young man naked, defenceless and only able to run away like all the disciples?
Dearest Jesus, teach us to be generous, to serve you as you deserve, to give an not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to labour and not to seek for any reward except to know that we are doing your holy will.