First reading Isaiah 50:4-9

Who thinks he has a case against me? Let him approach me

The Lord has given me
a disciple’s tongue.
So that I may know how to reply to the wearied
he provides me with speech.
Each morning he wakes me to hear,
to listen like a disciple.
The Lord has opened my ear.
 
For my part, I made no resistance,
neither did I turn away.
I offered my back to those who struck me,
my cheeks to those who tore at my beard;
I did not cover my face
against insult and spittle.
 
The Lord comes to my help,
so that I am untouched by the insults.
So, too, I set my face like flint;
I know I shall not be shamed.
 
My vindicator is here at hand. Does anyone start proceedings against me?
Then let us go to court together.
Who thinks he has a case against me?
Let him approach me.
 
The Lord is coming to my help,
who will dare to condemn me?
 
 

Responsorial Psalm 68(69):8-10,21-22,31,33-34

In your great love, O Lord, answer my prayers for your favour.
 
It is for you that I suffer taunts,
  that shame covers my face,
that I have become a stranger to my brothers,
  an alien to my own mother’s sons.
I burn with zeal for your house
  and taunts against you fall on me.
 
Taunts have broken my heart;
  I have reached the end of my strength.
I looked in vain for compassion,
  for consolers; not one could I find.
For food they gave me poison;
  in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
 
I will praise God’s name with a song;
  I will glorify him with thanksgiving.
The poor when they see it will be glad
  and God-seeking hearts will revive;
for the Lord listens to the needy
  and does not spurn his servants in their chains.
 
 

Gospel Matthew 26:14-25

‘The Son of Man is going to his fate, as the scriptures say he will’

One of the Twelve, the man called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, ‘What are you prepared to give me if I hand him over to you?’ They paid him thirty silver pieces, and from that moment he looked for an opportunity to betray him.
  Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus to say, ‘Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the passover?’ ‘Go to so-and-so in the city’ he replied ‘and say to him, “The Master says: My time is near. It is at your house that I am keeping Passover with my disciples.”’ The disciples did what Jesus told them and prepared the Passover.
  When evening came he was at table with the twelve disciples. And while they were eating he said ‘I tell you solemnly, one of you is about to betray me.’ They were greatly distressed and started asking him in turn, ‘Not I, Lord, surely?’ He answered, ‘Someone who has dipped his hand into the dish with me, will betray me. The Son of Man is going to his fate, as the scriptures say he will, but alas for that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! Better for that man if he had never been born!’ Judas, who was to betray him; asked in his turn, ‘Not I, Rabbi, surely?’ ‘They are your own words’ answered Jesus.
 
 
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Betrayal

Judas, the man Jesus chose to be His apostle, betrayed Him for thirty silver coins. The fickle-minded crowd who shouted “Hosanna!” enthusiastically turned against Him and cried, “Crucify Him!”. The rest of the disciples also betrayed Him when they ran away from Him at the moment of His suffering. Jesus suffered betrayal. Have we ever experienced betrayal from someone we loved and trusted? Have we ever felt the disappointment and hurt that overwhelmed us? A close family member, a best friend, the faith community, even the Church could betray us. It is a painful experience of betrayal which leaves us questioning our ability to trust again.
 
Today, let us recognised that Jesus suffered betrayal. We are not alone in our pain. Jesus tells us, “I am here. I am with you. I understand”. Let us go to Jesus and find ourselves loved by His love that heals and renews. With Jesus, we learn again to trust.
 
Reflective question:
Can I pray for the person who has betrayed me?
 
 
Acknowledgment: Reflections are based on “Prayer for Living: The Word of God for Daily Prayer Year B” by Sr Maria Jose FMVD.