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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Holy Week Meditation: Spy Wednesday -- Did Jesus Love Judas?

The short answer: ABSOLUTELY! Perhaps His compassion was greater for Judas than for all the others knowing his tragic end. Judas was one of the chosen ones among the disciples called to be part of the select twelve! And even given the particular responsibility of holding the purse and administering alms to the poor. Wasn't giving him that role an act of trust?

"It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend."  William Blake
And while I'm reflecting on those whom Jesus loved, what about the pharisees and sadducees plotting to kill him? Did He love them?


Of course! His hard words to them reflect that love. You don't bother admonishing people you don't love. You pursue, even with challenging words, those you want to save. And think about it, they were among the first Jesus ministered to -- when He was only twelve years old:
When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. (Luke 2:41-47)
Was Gamaliel among the teachers? He would later urge the pharisees not to persecute the apostles because if their preaching about the risen Lord was bogus it would disappear, but if it was from Yahweh they would find themselves fighting against God.

I wonder -- Did Jesus suffer most over those closest to him who rejected or betrayed Him? Did the thorns pierce most deeply over them? Think of His grief when a member of His inner circle betrayed Him to his vicious enemies or when so many of His disciples walked away after the teaching on the Eucharist saying, "Who can accept this?" Jesus looked at the rich young man with great love. How much did he suffer when, so attached to his possessions, the young man refused the invitation to become one of Jesus' intimates?

And then there was the man he healed by the pool of Bethsaida. Instead of expressing gratitude for his healing, he ran to report Jesus to the pharisees giving them more ammunition in their plot to kill the Savior.

But the greatest grief of all must have been the eleven who ran away in the garden, followed by Peter's treachery when he cursed and swore, "I don't even know the man." They were his brothers, friends of the heart! How painful those rejections must have been! Did they magnify the pain of the scourging and the pain of the nails driven into his hands and feet and the thorns piercing His scalp?

I've reflected a lot on suffering and loss these past eleven months with the deaths of my grandson and my two brothers. What an invitation it is this Holy Week to unite my sufferings to Christ's and to Mother Mary who stayed so faithfully at the foot of the cross embracing everything being experienced by her Son.

Draw me into your passion, O Lord, and help me to embrace my sufferings and unite them to Yours.

O my betrayed Jesus, have mercy on us.

Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.

3 comments:

Roe Antinore said...

This is beautiful, Mary Ann. So well written and thoughtful. It reminds me of a passage in one of my favorite books that I read and contemplate when I am adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

It is called "Come To Me in the Blessed Sacrament".

Contemplating on the Agony in the Garden here are a few paragraphs from the book:

"As He started to pray, He began to sweat blood. The agony He suffered was the realization that the Holy Eucharist would be rejected by so many and appreciate4d by so few. To reject the Holy Eucharist is to reject Jesus Himself.

He saw down through the ages how He would be left alone, spurned and avoided by men in so many tabernacles of the world, while He comes to bring so much love and so many blessings. How few would believe in His Real Presence; and fewer still respond to His appeal to be loved in the Blessed Sacrament! And His Heart was "filled with sorrow to the point of death." The blood He sweated was grief poured out from a broken Heart caused by the sorrow of His Eucharistic love's being so rejected.

Then an angel brought Jesus indescribable strength and consolation by showing Him every holy hour that you would ever make. At that moment in the garden, Jesus saw you praying before Him now and He knew that His love would be returned. This is why your visit today is so important to Him. Your holy hour consoles Him for those who do not love Him and wins countless graces for many to be converted to Him.

He sees you before Him now and forgets the rejection of the world. Here we offer to Jesus any rejection we may reveive from others that He may be loved by all men in this Most Blessed Sacrament."

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Thank you, Roe. I'll look for that book. How blessed we are to recognize our role in "making up what's lacking in the sufferings of Christ."

Roe Antinore said...

It's called, "Come to Me in the Blessed Sacrament". Distributed by the Missionaries of the Blessed Sacrament. PO Box 101, Plattsburgh, NY 12901. Phone: 518-561-8193. Fax: 518-566-7103 Email: ACFP2000@aol.com Website: www.ACFP2000.com

It contains meditations for Holy Hours. One in particular that I love is a meditation on Psalm 119. Page 103

"Suffering like fire-tried gold transforms us into the Heart of Christ. God never intended nor wanted man to suffer. Man fell though disobedience from the paridise God created. Christ's sufferings on the cross give our sufferings value, purpose and meaning until the day when paradise is restored.

We unite our sufferings now, no matter how great or small, to Jesus truly present before us in the Blessed Sacrament. He takes them and offers them to His Heavenly Father in union with those He sufferd for us on Calvary. He purifies them with His Blood and gives them unspeakable beauty by offering them with the love with which He endured His Passion.

God uses sufferings for three purposes. One is to purify us from self-love, ego and pride so that our dispositon may always be that of the psalmist: "I bind myself to do Your Will." The freedom of heart is given when we "run the way" of God's Holy Will. Otherwise we are enslaved by our own selfishness.

Before he died, Bishop Sheen was asked by a television reporter what the difference was between the young Father Fulton Sheen, just ordained, and the eighty-year-old Bishop with whom he was talking. The answer was "wisdom acquired through suffering."

The second purpose of suffering is that it creates a compassionate heart. Through suffering, one becomes sensitive to the cries and needs of others.

The third purpose is that it has a redemptive value when we accept it and offer it to God in union with the Passion of our Lord. The Will of God is that all His children be saved. For this end, He allows human suffering in orer that one man may merit necessary graces for another who otherwise whould be lost. Like St. Paul, through our suffering we make up for what is wanting in the Mystical Body of Christ.

The word that revives us is the Person of Christ, theIncarnate Word of God, continueing His saving mysteries in the Blessed Sacrament."