Divine Mercy Minutes with Jesus is a pocket-sized devotional featuring key passages of Jesus' own words to St. Faustina, following themes such as trust, deeds of mercy, and ... Read more
By Fr. Joseph, MIC (Apr 8, 2009)
Readings: Is 50:4-9; Mt 26:14-25
"Woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed." Mt 26:24
We're back at the Last Supper, this time from the Gospel of Matthew, who prefaces his account of the meal with the scene where Judas agrees to hand Jesus over to the high priest for 30 pieces of silver.
In Monday's Gospel, we saw how Mary of Bethany chose to humble herself to take on the service of a slave, lovingly washing the feet of her Master, not with water but with ointment worth 300 pieces of silver.
Now we see Judas choosing to sell his Master for a mere 30 pieces of silver — the price of a slave. What a huge difference in these two responses to God!
Mary shows us the "yes" that flows from a loving heart centered on Jesus. Judas shows us "the 'no' stemming from greed and lust, from vainglory which refuses to accept God" (Pope Benedict XVI).
At the banquet in Bethany, Christ prophesied about Mary, "Wherever the gospel is proclaimed to the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her" (Mk 14:6, 9). But here, at the Last Supper, Christ says
about Judas, "Woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for him if he had never been born" (Mt 26:24). Our choices have consequences!
Even after hearing this dire warning, Judas could have repented and thrown himself on God's mercy. After all, God loves each of us with an everlasting love (see Jer 31:3), and it is no part of His plan that any one of us will be lost (see Mt 18:14). He is always willing to forgive, no matter how great our sin. But He will never force salvation on us. He created us free, and we have the power to accept or refuse His mercy. At every intersection of our lives, we choose "yes" or "no," and our choices determine our destiny.
Thank You, Lord, for creating me free and loving me with an everlasting love. Help me to say "yes" to You with my whole heart, now and at every moment of decision. Help me to always choose You, Lord. Amen.