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April 17, 2019 Featured

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Gospel: Matthew 26:14-25
Then one of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “How much will you give me if I hand him over to you?” They promised to give him thirty pieces of silver; and from then on, he kept looking for the best way to hand Jesus over to them.On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and said to him, “Where do you want us to prepare the Passover meal for you?” Jesus answered, “Go into the city, to the house of a certain man, and tell him, ‘The Master says: My hour is near, and I will celebrate the Passover with my disciples in your house.’”The disciples did as Jesus had ordered, and prepared the Passover meal.When it was evening, Jesus sat at table with the Twelve. While they

were eating, Jesus said, “Truly I say to you: one of you will betray me.” They were deeply distressed, and they asked him, one after the other, “You do not mean me, do you, Lord?”He answered, “The one who dips his bread with me will betray me. The Son of Man is going as the Scriptures say he will. But alas for that one who betrays the Son of Man: better for him not to have been born.” Judas, the one who would betray him, also asked, “You do not mean me, Master, do you?” Jesus replied, “You have said it.”

Reflections

“You have said it.”The Passover is a very important Jewish feast. It commemorates the liberation of the Hebrew people from the slavery of Egypt. The Exodus happened sometime in 1500 BC. It is a week-long celebration. It is called Pesah which literally means to skip or pass over.As Jesus and his disciples go to Jerusalem for the celebration as prescribed by the law, Judas talks with the chief priests who are vent on eliminating  Jesus.  He negotiates with them his payment after handing him over to them. Judas has just betrayed Jesus when he banked on the priests’ promise of 30 pieces of silver.Just like yesterday’s reading from John’s gospel, Jesus announces his betrayal. The betrayer is there with them at the Passover meal. The other disciples are disturbed. Judas pretends he is not the one.With a different purpose, Judas celebrates Passover. He will be richer when he executes the priests’ plan. It is said that the Gnostic Gospel of Judas makes us thank him for betraying Jesus and thus he died and saved us. The inspired and canonical Gospel of Matthew says, “Better for him not to have been born.” Judas missed the whole message of Jesus.
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