Have there been times in our lives we betrayed and denied Jesus, not in the obvious and literal way of Judas, but in our hearts and actions?
The gospel passion narrative begins with the plot of Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus and continues through familiar scenes: celebration of the Passover meal; the promises by Peter and the disciples that they would never lose faith in Jesus, the agony in the garden; the arrest of Jesus; the abandonement of Jesus by all his disciples; the trial; Peter’s denial of Jesus; Pilate’s release of Barabbas and condemnation of Jesus to death; the torture and mockery by the soldiers; the crucifixion and the burial of Jesus.
Today’s gospel is filled with emotions at that run very deep – betrayal, denial, condemnation, love, forgiveness, trust and death. It recounts how the sins of the people at the time of Jesus conspired to bring about the Passion and death of Christ, and the truth that we are all to blame. Their sins and our sins bring Christ to the cross and He accepts it willingly. The pain and suffering associated with experiences of betrayals and disappointments is Jesus sacred passion, the great suffering Christ endured for us.
Christ died on the cross out of love for us and it opens door for us to have a relationship with God. His death also allows us to claim God’s forgiveness and experience God’s love.
The Passion of Christ offers us an opportunity to remember the love that God has shown through the cross of Christ. May we able to embrace our own cross without denying our betrayals for we are loved and forgiven by God. And, for the times that we betrayed and denied Jesus, by the help of God’s grace, may we all be led to the way where we can forgive ourselves and the people who betrayed and hurt us.
As we continue our journey with Jesus Christ this Holy Week , we seek grace of being united to Jesus as we ourselves cope with our own pain and suffering. Like Jesus we may feel abandoned by God, however we are not alone. Just as the Father was with Jesus through suffering, God is also with us. Let us offer our pain and sufferings to Him with love and forgiveness in our hearts.
Source: Neo Jeremiah Voice of the Young Prophet Newsletter April 9, 2017 issue.