Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Spy Wednesday of Holy Work

Perhaps today's question would be how much would we sell Jesus for? Jesus does not always say or do what we like either. His agenda is not always what we think it should be. But you know what there are sure lots of ways to betray Jesus and to betray ourselves, and we need to be on watch for those.

Picture from Jon Holato's blogOn the Wednesday the tempo of the Holy Week increases. This is the day widely known as "Spy Wednesday". For it is the day when Judas Iscariot, a disciple turned betrayer agreed to show the chief priests where they could easily capture Jesus.

Matthew 26:3-5, 14-16 14Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests 15and asked, "What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?" So they counted out for him thirty silver coins. 16From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.

If we believe that Jesus knew all along what was going to happen, and if we believe that Judas was a mere puppet having to take his allotted role because he was part of the great plan laid down in Scripture, then I fear there can be no hope for us. This would mean that we are programmed, controlled, without freedom to grow or develop. It would also mean that we are quite beyond each other’s reach, unable to choose intimacy or separation, closeness or distance, love or indifference … So Jesus leaves the upper room and goes out into the night, his heart breaking for Judas and weighted down with sorrow at the apparent indifference of the others to Judas’ plight. It was as if they had been paralysed by the apparent powerlessness of his own love: if Jesus could not keep Judas within their company, what hope had they? For Jesus, I suggest it must have felt very different. Why was it, he must have asked himself, that nobody, not even John whom he loved so dearly, had been able to say to Judas: ‘We love you, you are one of us: where are you going? what are you intending to do?’ Why was it that not one of them had seen that Jesus’ impotent love needed the expression of theirs to regain its power? Why had they not been able to see that being truly human is impossible on your own?

Brian Thorne

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