“What will you give me if I deliver him to you?’ And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him.” (Matthew 26:15-16)
Judas knew the Jews were planning to kill Jesus and he also knew that they lacked certain insider information such as where they would easily find Jesus and how to identify Jesus in the dim of darkness. Judas calculated that this was an opportunity to make money. He went to the Jews saying: “What would you give me if I deliver him to you?”
As Jesus would say: “The Son of man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” (Matthew 26:24). During his temptations, Jesus rejected the devil’s offer of earthly kingdoms in exchange for a bow but Judas Iscariot bowed to the devil for thirty pieces of silver.
I can only imagine the pain Jesus felt in our Gospel passage knowing that someone who shared the same plate with him was going to betray him. As Isaiah sings in today’s first reading, Jesus is silent, he turns not backward, He gives His back to those who strike Him and His cheeks to those who pulled out the beard. He does not hide His face from shame and spitting.
And as St. Paul said to the Philippians, “Being found in human form He humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore, God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name.” (Philippians 2:8-9)
Let us examine our conscience. Am I a Christian for the sake of money? Do I pretend to be a member of the Church just because I am looking for a way to gather information about my fellow church members and sell it to kidnappers, cultists, and so on? Dear friends, if someone has to die or lose their reputation so that I make money, such money is blood money and I would never enjoy it. Don’t put a price on your faith.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, free me from greed that I may truly worship You Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Wednesday of Holy Week, Bible Study: Isaiah 50:4-9, Ps. 69:8-10,21-22,31,33-34, Matthew 26:14-25
@Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu