Gospel Reflection – Wednesday, March 27, 2024 – Matthew 26,14-25 – Catholic Bible

First Reading (Is 50,4-9a)

Reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah.

The Lord God gave me a trained tongue, so that I know how to speak words of comfort to the downcast person; He awakens me every morning and stirs my ear to pay attention like a disciple.

The Lord opened my ears; I didn’t resist him or turn back. I offered my back to be beaten and my cheeks to rip out my beard: I didn’t turn my face away from slaps and spit. But the Lord God is my Helper, so I didn’t let my spirits fall, I kept my face as impassive as stone, because I know I won’t be humiliated. By my side is the one who justifies me; Will anyone object to me? Let’s see. Who is my opponent? Come closer. 9a Yes, the Lord God is my Helper; who is going to condemn me?

– Word of the Lord.

– Thank God.

Gospel (Mt 26,14-25)

— PROCLAMATION of the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew.

— Glory to you, Lord.

At that time, one of the twelve disciples, called Judas Iscariot, went to the high priests and said: “What will you give me if I hand Jesus over to you?” They then agreed on thirty silver coins. And from then on, Judas looked for an opportunity to betray Jesus.

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Food, the disciples approached Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to prepare to eat the Passover?” Jesus replied: “Go to the city, look for a certain man and say to him: ‘The Master says: my time is near, I will celebrate Easter in your house, together with my disciples’”.

The disciples did as Jesus commanded and prepared Easter. As evening fell, Jesus sat down at the table with the twelve disciples. As they ate, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.” They were very sad and, one by one, they began to ask him: “Lord, is it me?” Jesus replied: “The one who will betray me is the one who puts his hand in the dish with me. The Son of Man will die, as the Scripture says about him. However, woe to him who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better if he had never been born!” Then Judas, the traitor, asked: “Master, is it me?” Jesus answered him: “You say so”.

— Word of Salvation.

— Glory to you, Lord.

Reflecting the Word of God

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Today, I would like to start our reflection with a question: have you ever felt betrayed? Have you ever experienced the pain of betrayal, the feeling of broken trust? Perhaps painful memories will come to the surface at this time, as betrayal is a deep wound that many of us carry in our lives. But today, dear believers, I wish to bring you a message of hope and redemption, in light of the biblical passages presented to us.

Our first reading, from the book of the prophet Isaiah, tells us about a suffering servant, someone who was oppressed and betrayed, but who remained faithful to God. This servant is a symbol of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. He was mistreated, injured and spat on, but he did not turn his face away from those who attacked him. He knew his trust was in God the Father, who would sustain and strengthen him in times of adversity. Just like Jesus, we are called to trust God even in the darkest hours of our lives.

Reflecting on this topic, I remember a story that illustrates the importance of trust in the midst of betrayal. There was once a young man named Daniel who lived in a foreign kingdom. He was loyal to his king and served with dedication. However, some jealous men plotted against Daniel and falsely accused him before the king. Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den, a place of certain death. But despite the imminent danger, Daniel trusted God. And that night, the lions didn’t touch him. The next day, when the king saw that Daniel was safe and sound, he recognized the power of Daniel’s God and exalted him above all gods. Daniel’s trust in God triumphed over the betrayal of men.

This is the invitation that God gives us today: to trust Him, even when we are betrayed by the people around us. Sometimes it’s hard to forgive, it’s hard to trust again. But God is with us, even in the most difficult situations. He knows our pain, He knows our anguish. He is the God of redemption, who can transform betrayals into opportunities for spiritual growth.

In the Gospel of Matthew, we find the most painful betrayal of all: the betrayal of Jesus by one of his own disciples, Judas Iscariot. Judas, the one who shared Jesus’ intimacy, who witnessed His miracles and heard His words of wisdom, chose to betray his Master for thirty pieces of silver. It is difficult to imagine the depth of pain Jesus felt that night when one of his closest friends betrayed him to his enemies.

And yet, Jesus teaches us an invaluable lesson about forgiveness. Even knowing the imminent betrayal, He did not reject Judas, but welcomed him to the table during the Last Supper. Jesus offered His friendship and unconditional love, even though He knew He would be betrayed. This is the nature of God’s love: He loves us despite our faults and sins. He calls us to forgive those who have betrayed us, just as He has forgiven us.

Dear brothers and sisters, betrayal is part of the human experience. We have all, in one way or another, experienced this pain. But God invites us to overcome betrayal, to trust Him, and to forgive those who have hurt us. He calls us to live in His grace and extend His mercy to others.

At this time, I would like to invite you to close your eyes and reflect on the betrayals you have faced in your lives. Think of someone you need to forgive, someone who betrayed you and hurt you deeply. Now, imagine that same face before you, and feel the weight of that betrayal. Feel the pain and the hurt. But now, imagine Jesus next to that person. See the expression of love in Jesus’ eyes, the invitation to forgive and leave the hurt behind. Allow divine grace to flow through you, enabling you to forgive and find inner healing.

Dear believers, forgiveness is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength. When we forgive, we free ourselves from the burden that betrayal carries. By forgiving, we open space for reconciliation and restoration. Forgiveness is not something we can do alone; It is a grace that God grants us. Therefore, let us ask God for the strength and courage to forgive those who betrayed us.

As we move forward, it’s important to remember that betrayal does not define who we are. We are beloved sons and daughters of God, called to live in communion with one another. May we find comfort and encouragement in the words of Isaiah: “The Lord God is my help, therefore I am not humbled, therefore I have made my face like stone, convinced that I would not be ashamed” (Isaiah 50:7).

Dear brothers and sisters, today is the day we can choose the path of forgiveness and reconciliation. It’s the day we can free ourselves from the burden of betrayal and allow God’s grace to transform our hearts. It is the day when we can follow the example of Jesus, who loved us even when we were unfaithful to Him.

May the light of Christ shine in our lives, illuminating the darkest corners of our soul. May the Holy Spirit enable us to forgive and live in love and harmony with one another. May we be living witnesses to the redemptive power of forgiveness, so that the world can see God’s love in action.

Let us ask for the intercession of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Mercy, to guide us on this journey of forgiveness and reconciliation. May she, who experienced pain and betrayal in her own life, teach us to trust God at all times.

May God bless us and grant us the grace of forgiveness. And that, like Jesus, we can reach out to the betrayer and say: “I forgive you. May the peace of God be with you.”