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Franciscan Spirit Blog

Lent with St. Francis: Betrayal

Mar 31, 2021
Lent with St. Francis: Betrayal

Wednesday of Holy Week

Isaiah 50:4–9a;
Psalm 69:8–10, 21–22, 31, 33–34;
Matthew 26:14–25

“Surely not I, Lord?” —Matthew 26:22


Yesterday we heard John’s account of the betrayal by Judas. Today we hear the same story from Matthew’s Gospel. The first three days of Holy Week focus almost exclusively on the act of betrayal by one of Jesus’s twelve closest followers. Matthew tells us that the Twelve were deeply distressed by Jesus’s prediction of betrayal. They each questioned him, saying, “Surely it is not I, Lord?”

We can see in their question that each one may have suspected that he might be capable of it, that his faith wasn’t as strong as it might be. I suspect they were also horrified because, like us, they had all known betrayal at one time or another in their lives. It’s something that strikes at the heart of relationships, at the trust that we rely on to keep us in community and family.

Do we always end up betraying Jesus at some point? We are all sinners. We all need salvation, again and again and again. And so we come to the paschal mystery, the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Francis reminds us:

Remember the words of our Lord, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you (Matthew 5:44). Our Lord Jesus Christ himself, in whose footsteps we must follow (see 1 Peter 2:21), called the man who betrayed him his friend, and gave himself up of his own accord to his executioners. Therefore, our friends are those who for no reason cause us trouble and suffering, shame or injury, pain or torture, even martyrdom and death. It is these we must love, and love very much, because for all they do to us we are given eternal life.


Prayer

All praise be yours, my Lord,
through Sister Moon and Stars;
In the heavens you have made them, bright
And precious and fair.
Amen.


Minute Meditations


Comments

Submitted by Dr Eileen Quin… (not verified) on Wed, 03/31/2021 - 08:35 AM

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My Mother used to say pray for your enemies as those were people that bullied us or shamed us in school. Most of the time, I would end up praying more for my enemies than anyone, even to the point of having some become friends. It is our prayer for others that brings them closer to Christ and the goodness of the community. The acceptance of others is what Jesus asks of us and then our reaching out in prayer for them and with them. When I am the person that is the enemy, I must remember Jesus' dying on the cross for me. I must remember how to love that person who annoys and distresses me and instead offer the consolation of a God who loves all of us both now and forever. Lord, we ask you to help us be good enemies by shifting and transforming our hatred into love. We ask you this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Submitted by Fred Merrick (not verified) on Wed, 03/31/2021 - 10:33 AM

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My mom would often say if you can’t say something good about someone, say nothing at all. This was great advice because it enabled me to always try to find the good in all people. Every person has good!

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