March 23, 2016
One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” They paid him thirty pieces of silver, and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over. Mt_26:14-25
As we prepare ourselves for the sacred three days, the Holy Triduum, leading to the Easter Resurrection of Jesus, we’re reminded today, how easy it is to wander from His path –
– for the sake of the Glory,
– for the sake of the Money,
– for the sake of the Power,
– for the sake of our Independence,
– or even just Forgetting Jesus when we might need Him the most.
All of the disciples, except John, left Jesus and hid, after He was arrested. Peter denied even knowing Jesus for the sake of his own pride.
And today we hear the story of Judas. Judas expected the Messiah to be a conquering ruler who would free the Jews from their Roman oppressors. And when Jesus didn’t meet Judas’ expectations, Judas sold Him out to the Pharisees, who were against Jesus from the very start.
Yet, Jesus didn’t come to free us from just one select group of oppressors. Jesus came to free us from ALL of them.
Jesus came to free us from sin . . .
– The sins that others lead us to, like lying, and anger, and gossip, and hatred.
– The sins of our own weaknesses, like our uncontrollable passions for overeating, or drinking, or smoking, or laziness, or hopelessness.
– The sins that we don’t even think about, like forgetting to give thanks to God for every meal, for our clothes, for our shelter, and even for every breath we have to take.
Jesus came to save us from them all. And it not only cost Him His life, but it came at the expense of a very painful death, besides.
When we can come to truly appreciate the Passion of Christ;
. . . When every time we look at a Crucifix it brings a tear to our eyes, and a pain to our heart;
. . . Then we’re beginning to understand the reason for it all;
You see, it wasn’t just the Romans, or the Pharisees, or the ISIS terrorists, that Jesus was saving us from;
It was the very sin of it all.
And the saving Gift that has been given to us BY Jesus, the reward we are given for all of His suffering – is LIFE . . .
The resurrected Easter LIFE of Jesus is here for us all.
All we need to do is Recognize it!
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