April 17, 2019

Holy Week W

April 17, 2019:  Holy Week:  Wednesday

See ten connections with today?Legend below

  • He was despisèd, from Messiah/ Handel, for "He gave his back" middle section (1st reading)
For Psalm 69
(Sorry; nothing from the metal band Judas Iscariot :-)
At the Last Supper, the Lord prayed, "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son," then "Glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began’” (John 17.1-5).  His prayer is a paradox, asking for glory when his passion is at the gates.  This glory is the manifestation of God's presence and salvation.   Jesus is this manifestation, glorified as he is lifted up on the cross.  God's glory is pure, unbridled, unthinkable. unlimited love.

Pray like Jesus:  ask the Father to be able to accept that God is love; often we imagine God as master, not Father, judge, not merciful Savior.  At Easter God closes distances, revealing himself in the humility of love that demands our love.  When we love, we give him glory, because true glory is the glory of lifegiving love, not worldly glory where you're admired, praised, acclaimed as center of attention.  God’s glory is without applause.  At Easter the Father and Son glorify each other, neither glorifying himself.  Are you living God’s glory or your own?  Do you want to receive or also give?

At Gethsemane when Jesus felt the fear and anguish of the betrayal, contempt, suffering, and failure awaiting him, he addressed the Father with the tender and sweet word, "Abba," Papa.  He teaches us to embrace the Father in prayer to find strength to go through pain.  Prayer brings relief, trust, and comfort.  But in our "Gethsemane” we may choose to remain alone instead of crying out and entrusting ourselves to the Father.  By remaining closed in, we dig a tunnel, a path that goes deeper into ourselves.  Our biggest problem is not pain, but how to deal with it.  Prayer offers a way out because it's relationship and trust.  Jesus entrusts everything to the Father, bringing him his feelings and counting on him.  Pray to the Father in your Gethsemane.

Jesus prayed for those who were wicked to him.  When he was pierced, love reached its climax.  Forgiveness, the gift of immense power, breaks the circle of evil.  Pray for grace to live with love for God's glory, to entrust yourself to the Father amid trials, calling him “Father.” and to find forgiveness and courage to forgive.


  • Is 50:4-9a  I gave my back to those who beat me; I didn't shield my face from buffets and spitting.  God my help upholds me; I won't be put to shame.
  • Ps 69:8-10, 21-22, 31, 33-34  "Lord, in your great love, answer me."  I bear insult.  I've become an outcast because zeal for you consumes me.  Insult has broken my heart, I'm weak, and nobody consoled me.  I'll sing praise to God who hears the poor.
  • Mt 26:14-25  Judas Iscariot looked for an opportunity to hand Jesus over.  The disciples asked Jesus where to prepare the Passover supper, then did as he ordered.  Jesus / disciples:  “One of you will betray me.” / “Not I!?” / “The one who dipped his hand into the dish with me....  Woe to him.”  Judas:  “Not I!?"...
Bonus:  Easter Triduum infographics (click for full-size)

Teixeira for the Focus blog

Thanks to Catholic-Link
  • Fr. Reynaldo Matunog homily videoBe vigilant lest you act like Judas.  the other apostles didn't see his betrayal coming.  Pray you don't fall into the trap he did.
  • Creighton:  We've been praying, giving alms, fasting, trying to grow in our relationship with the Lord, become freer of inordinate attachments, and love more. As I blame Judas for Jesus’ death and judge him, I remember the circumstances:  he wanted the liberation of Israel, he thought Jesus was the Messiah, and he followed him, but he didn't know him well.  He probably wanted for God's the kingdom of God to come in order to be liberated from Roman power and interpreted God’s promise as political, of this world.  Judas lost his patience in Jesus; he might have thought that giving him up would accelerate the process.  But Jesus wanted conversion, love of enemies, works of mercy, and friendship; he was about love, service, trust, and patience, not efficiency.  Judas missed the point and came to regret it.
    The Last Supper/ Da Vinci
  • One Bread, One Body:  We need to accept God's grace to become holy.  We do by obeying the Lord, especially taking up our daily crosses so as to see God and proclaim, "Holy is the Lord."   The Lord graces us to grow in holiness, but we must carry the cross.  He may call us to give our backs to those who beat us.  This may be a time to turn the other cheek and not shield our faces from spitting.   May we take up the cross of reconciliation and reach out to the 'Judases' who have persecuted and betrayed us.  Will we embrace the cross of persecution and loving persecutors?
  • Passionist:  Because Judas snuck off to the chief priests to make a deal to betray Jesus, we can easily forget that he was an apostle, one of Jesus' most intimate companions, who journeyed with, ate with, learned from, worked with, and spoke much with him. How could someone so deeply connected to Jesus betray him?  It's easy to think we'd never do anything so wicked, but when we let something other than Christ rule us, we're like Judas.  What abides in our hearts is what we love most.  If it's not God, it’s a dark and dangerous love we may do anything to nurture....

  • DailyScripture.net:  "The tragedy of the betrayal":  Was Judas' treachery motivated by greed, disappointment with Jesus, or disillusionment?  Maybe he didn't intend his Master to die; maybe he thought Jesus was setting up his kingdom too slowly and wanted to force his hand.  Whatever, he refused to accept Jesus as he was.  "Consider what Judas said to the priests:  What will you give me if I hand him over?  He took money in exchange for God's Word.  They do the same thing who accept goods in exchange for casting the Savior and Word out from their souls.  It's fitting to apply Judas' example to all who show contempt for God's Word and betray him by committing sin.  People who behave like this appear to be calling out to the enemy who offers worldly gain in return for betraying God's Word, saying, What will you give me if I hand him over?  The number of coins they gave Judas was the number of years the Savior sojourned in this world; at 30 he was baptized and began to preach, like Joseph was 30 when he began to gather grain for his brothers.  As God prepared the grain for the Israelites then but also gave it to the Egyptians, so too the gospel was prepared for the saints but preached also to the unfaithful" (Origen, Commentary on Matthew 78, paraphrased).  Jesus knew what would befall him; at the last supper, he put his apostles under suspicion ("one of you will betray me") to teach them to examine themselves lest they think themselves stronger than they were.  We too must examine ourselves and ask God to strengthen us in faith, hope, and love that we may not fail or forsake him when tempted.  "Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil."  Father, we are frail and indisposed to every virtuous and gallant undertaking. Strengthen our weakness, we beseech you, that we may do valiantly in this spiritual war; help us against our own negligence and cowardice, and defend us from the treachery of our unfaithful hearts; for Jesus Christ's sake  (Thomas a Kempis).
Dress legend
  • 'Car with mouth' pin:  "The Lord has given me a well-trained tongue" (1st reading)
  • 'Money' tie, silver-colored tie pin:  The chief priests paid Judas 30 silver pieces (gospel)
  • 'Broken hearts' suspenders:  "Insult has broken my heart"; "may your hearts revive"; "Lord, in your great love..." (psalm)
  • 'Castle' button:  Zeal for your house consumes me (psalm)
  • 'Clef with cross' pin:  I'll praise God in song (psalm)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  Judas dipped his hand into the dish and will 'hand' Jesus over (gospel)
  • 'Silverware' tie bar:  Passover meal / Last Supper (gospel)
  • '?' tie pin:  "Surely it is not I, Lord?" (gospel)
  • 'Clock' pin:  "My appointed time draws near" (gospel); countdown to Easter
  • Purple shirt:  Lenten season

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