Betraying the Son of Man

for April 16th, 2014
Wednesday of Holy Week

Liturgical texts here



BOTH Peter and Judas received the Body and Blood of Christ at the Last Supper. Jesus knew beforehand both men would deny Him. Both men went on to do so in one manner or another.

But only one man did Satan enter:

After he took the morsel, Satan entered [Judas]. (John 13:27)

Thus, in today’s Gospel, Jesus says:

Woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed.

There is a vast difference between Peter and Judas. Peter, with all his heart wanted to love the Lord. “To whom shall I go,” he once said to Jesus. But instead of going to the Lord, Judas followed his flesh, exchanging the love of Christ for thirty pieces of silver. Peter denied Christ out of weakness; Judas betrayed Him out of willfulness.

Which am I? That is the question we must each ask before we receive Holy Communion. How many today receive the Body and Blood of Christ without thinking for a moment of Whom they are receiving? How important is this? St. Paul writes:

A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. (1 Cor 11:28-19)

He even notes that many are “are ill and infirm, and a considerable number are dying,” because they have not received Jesus worthly! We need to pause and truly reflect on how we have been approaching the Eucharist, and whether or not we are in a state of grace:

Anyone who desires to receive Christ in Eucharistic communion must be in the state of grace. Anyone aware of having sinned mortally must not receive communion without having received absolution in the sacrament of penance. Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1415

Judas betrayed Christ for money. It was the sin of idolatry. This Holy Week, we need to examine our hearts and confess any grave sin so that we may not remain in the darkness of the tomb, but rise with Christ.

You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and also the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and of the table of demons. (1 Cor 10:22)

On the other hand, know that Jesus invites you to the Table of Mercy precisely because of your weakness. That your daily venial sins and faults should never keep you away from the Altar, but lead you to a more profound humility and abandonement before the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Like Peter who cried out three times, “Lord, you know I love you!” And we can add, “…but I am so weak. Have mercy on me.”

Such a humble and contrite soul Jesus never turns away, but feeds, nourishes, and strengthens with His very Body and Blood. He, not Satan, then, is who enters the heart.

The Lord GOD is my help, therefore I am not disgraced… See, the Lord GOD is my help… (First reading)

I will praise the name of God in song, and I will glorify him with thanksgiving: “See, you lowly ones, and be glad; you who seek God, may your hearts revive! For the LORD hears the poor, and his own who are in bonds he spurns not.” (Psalm)




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