Wednesday of Holy Week
Persecution, surrender to humiliation, and violent imagery characterize today’s readings from Isaiah and Psalm 69. These Scripture passages use prophetic language which connects our hearts and minds to Christ’s suffering and passion. Psalm 69 also becomes a beautiful prayer for deliverance from persecution with “Lord, in Your great love, answer me.” The legalistic language used by the Prophet Isaiah calls the faithful to endure persecution and to challenge the oppressor knowing that God is our final vindicator. Surrendering to the power of God’s love is easier said than done, however, as we can make poor choices that distances ourselves from our God and our neighbor.
The Gospel passage from Matthew tells the familiar story of Judas’s betrayal of Christ for 30 pieces of silver. While greed appears to be the motivation, Biblical scholars tend to debate many possible complicated reasons. Matthew’s description of the disciples’ preparation for Passover is an important reference in the Gospel reading as Passover remembers the deliverance of Israel from Egypt which was the central act of redemption in the Hebrew Bible. Jesus is about to provide a new center of redemption through His suffering and resurrection. God’s gift of grace indicates that we are fully loved, apart from what we do or fail to do.
When Jesus responds to Judas’s, “Surely it is not I Rabbi,” with “You have said so,” He is calling Judas to repentance. Judas is unable to confess his betrayal.
Gracious and loving God, may the doors to our hearts swing gently open, so that we may receive your goodness, your loving-kindness, and Your grace. Give us the strength to endure suffering, and the heart to confess our sins. Amen.
Michael Samara, Coordinator of Peer Tutoring and Campus Minister
First Reading: Isaiah 50:4-9a
Psalm 69:8-10, 21-22, 31, 33-34
Gospel: Matthew 26:14-25