Lent Day 15: Wednesday after the Second Sunday in Lent — The Betrayal of Jesus.

The Betrayal of Jesus.

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Read St. Matthew xxvi. 47-50.

[47] As he yet spoke, behold Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the ancients of the people. [48] And he that betrayed him, gave them a sign, saying: Whomsoever I shall kiss, that is he, hold him fast. [49] And forthwith coming to Jesus, he said: Hail, Rabbi. And he kissed him. [50] And Jesus said to him: Friend, whereto art thou come? Then they came up, and laid hands on Jesus, and held him.

1. As soon as Jesus had for the third time roused, the apostles from their slumber, the tramp of approaching soldiery is heard, and presently a band is seen escorted by the Pharisees and ancients, and headed by one who acts as their guide.  Who is it who has pointed out Christ to His foes?  Alas!  it is none other than the traitor Judas; one of the chosen twelve who had lived for three years in familiar intercourse with Jesus, listened to His words of grace, seen His acts of love and mercy.  If Judas fell so low, I too am in continual danger.  How awful a thing it would be if I too were to turn traitor to Jesus!

2. Our Lord does not shrink away from Judas as we do from those who we think have treated us ill.  On the contrary, He advances to meet him with words of friendship, in spite of the deadly wrong He had received.  How is it we are so unforgiving, so slow to make friendly advances, so ready to wrap ourselves up in our offended dignity?  It is because we are so ungenerous, so petty, so mean, so unlike to Jesus.

3. Jesus still loved Judas, sought to win Judas, strove by words of gentle remonstrance to bring him to a sense of his wickedness before it was too late “Friend, whereto art thou come?”  He calls this miserable wretch His friend.  Jesus meant what He said; for He is the friend of sinners, even the greatest.  He then is my friend, so why should I fear?


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