A moment of contemplation for yourself or on behalf of others on everything from the life-altering to the mundane.

Prayer: A conversation with The Higher Other who lives within each of us. An invitation to vent, to re-think, to ask, and to rest.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Meditation in Lent ~ Holy Week Wednesday: Forgiving THAT Guy? '24

March 27, 2024 ~ Wednesday in Holy Week

The Gospel of John 13:31-32 

         On this Wednesday, Judas Iscariot has conspired with the Sanhedrin to support their efforts to trap Jesus. He is paid the sum of 30 pieces of silver, enough to purchase a slave or a good potter's field. How much money is enough to sell someone's life to an enemy ~ what if the seller is a trusted friend of the one being sold? But of course, Jesus knew it would be Judas...
        Paul's letter to the Hebrews says: Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart [Hebrews 12:3]. When I have felt the world is against me, or life is just too hard, or I simply cannot cope with one more thing going wrong ~ did I ever once think of the suffering of Jesus at the hands of others? Have I ever thought of Judas if I did someone a wrong turn to benefit myself, even if "only" in a small way?  Perhaps Jesus is too big in my mind to compare myself to and perhaps I think Judas is too bad...  
        On this Wednesday in our time some churches mark this evening ~ or some others will on Maundy/Holy Thursday or Good Friday ~ with a service called Tenebrae [TEN-eh-bray]
.  The name comes from the Latin and means shadows or darkness.  The service consists of readings and chanted/sung Psalms while candles are extinguished in sets between readings and chants until the church is completely darkened. Often at the end, in the dark, a sudden loud noise ~ a gong, slamming a large book, or stamping of feet ~ is heard as a symbol of the earthquake that signaled the death of Jesus. Holy Wednesday in Holy Week, hearkens back to the penitence of Ash Wednesday just a few weeks ago, as the solemnity of the mood of this Week of Weeks deepens.


        O Jesus our Light, and the Redeemer of us ALL ~ this night reminds us of the story of Judas conspiring with the Sanhedrin and selling you out. This night makes us wonder how he could have done that to You. This night makes us shudder about ways we might have betrayed another for our own benefit even if in far lesser ways. We’ve used his name to mark another as a traitor, to feel better about ourselves. This night calls us to ponder true forgiveness ~ You have forgiven us for all of our sins and trespasses. But have we ever forgiven Judas, the only Apostle never called "saint," the only original Disciple to have died a remorseful death at his own hand, the only one Satan entered [John 13:2] to do the bidding that fulfilled the prophecy of our coming Messiah?  Who is a Judas in our own lives that we have not forgiven? In whose life have we been a Judas? 
      On this night, I will give up my judgement of Judas (and too many others). Who am I to demonize him or them? I will take on looking deeply into myself and to my own faults, betrayals, and selfishness. I will pray for myself, and us all, to begin to take a first step, and breathe the lightness of forgiveness into Judas Iscariot that lifts us. Certainly Jesus has. God has. The Holy Spirit has. If we can take that very small first step, then, with Your love and help, perhaps we can look at forgiving the Judas closer to home and forgiving, and then we feel forgiven and begin to forgive ourselves.  amen.

All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution and edited for local use as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way. For more information or comments, contact: Leeosophy@gmail.com

No comments:

Post a Comment