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Holy Wednesday Reflection | Fr. Jason Laguerta

We are now on Holy Wednesday and we are focusing the story on Judas, last Palm Sunday was the triumphant entry of Jesus to Jerusalem, last Holy Monday, Jesus was in Bethany with Martha, Mary and Lazarus and yesterday, Holy Tuesday, Jesus was having this supper dinner with his disciples where he prophesied about the denial of Peter and the betrayal of Judas.

The Payment of Judas | painting by Seghers, Gerard (1591-1651)

Now, Holy Wednesday, the center of attention is Judas himself. And finally, he did it. He betrayed his master for 30 silver pieces. What could have led him to do that? Why, Judas, why? Why would you do that to Jesus? He showed nothing to you but kindness. He showed nothing to people except or nothing but goodness, nothing but love. Why would you do that to your master? The Bible tells us that Satan entered into the mind and heart of Judas, and he was led to do this, maybe one way of justifying Judas. But whether it was because of Satan that led him to do it or because it was his own will, or volition, or choice to do it, it's the same thing that happened. He sold the Lord for 30 silver pieces.

Let us not grow tired of fidelity. That's what we said yesterday. Let us not grow tired of honesty. That's what we want to pursue this Holy Wednesday. He lied to the Lord. Jesus already knew he was and he would be the betrayer, but still he was talking to Jesus as if he did nothing wrong. He was talking to Jesus as if he was not guilty and innocent of anything. When Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me,” Judas had this gumption, temerity to tell Jesus, “Surely it is not I, Lord. Surely it is not I, Lord.” Judas was perhaps convincing himself because somehow he felt Jesus knew, but he had, he wanted to convince himself that he would not do it when in fact, he did it anyway. Thirty silver pieces. Nasilaw ba si Judas? Nagtampo ba siya kay Jesus? What could have led him to do this? We can only guess.

We do not have the mind of Judas, although a lot of times, we have the attitude of Judas. Nasisilaw tayo. Nasisilaw tayo ng salapi. Nasisilaw tayo ng mga materyal na bagay. We compromise our Christian values, we compromise our Christian faith, we compromise standards of goodness and righteousness for the money, for the sake of money. Money becomes our Lord, our idol. Money becomes the be-all and end-all of our life. Nothing wrong with working hard for the money as they say. We do work hard to sustain the needs of our families, to help others. We have very noble intentions why we want to accumulate wealth and money. Again, money is not the problem. As St. Paul would tell us, “The root of evil - of all evil - is the love of money.” Idolizing money, as if it's the most important commodity in the world. That will lead us to become like Judas -betray our beloved, betray our friends, betray our faith.

Brothers and sisters, in the world today, the world is dominated by money. Everything moves because, and for money. And it is understandable because we have many needs - economic and material. But what will happen to us as the Lord tells us, “What will happen to your soul? You may gain and profit everything in this world, but we lose our soul.”

What have you gained? It is election time in our country. So many of us are blinded by power, fame, and money. Vote-buying is massive everywhere. We sell our votes. And we know how hard it is today. We need money, for many of us, for many of our family's needs. But the reminder to us: let us not grow tired of honesty, let us not grow tired of doing good for the country, for the future of the children, for our families. Madali tayong masilaw, pero kailangan tayo na huwag mapagod to say no to the temptations around us brought about by money and material wealth, by fame, by power.

Holy Wednesday. Judas takes over. He betrays Jesus. He sells him for 30 silver pieces. Let us not do that. Let us not allow ourselves to be used by Satan to betray the Lord. Let us not grow tired of being faithful and honest to God.

Transcribed by Kovie Kraft

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