5th April 2020
There are many individuals that we are made aware of today in the reading of the Passion of Jesus. Jesus is completely the centre of all that is happening, but we also have Judas & the two men that gave false witness against Jesus when he was being questioned by the chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin. We also have the apostles who let Jesus down in various ways over the two days. The apostle’s failings mostly stemmed from fear & lack of faith. These are human weaknesses that I think we all understand and have all had them ourselves. I think it’s easy to understand how Jesus would be gentle with this human weakness. It was not for any personal gain that the apostles let Jesus down, it was fear, fear of losing their lives was at the core of letting Jesus down. It was also a lack of faith & again it is understandable. I don’t think any of us could be sure that we would not have done exactly what the Apostles did in this situation.
The sins of the two witnesses & especially Judas are something very different. The devil had obviously won the battle with all these men. Far from being afraid, they felt powerful with their actions. I think there is something for us to think about with regards to this. If we can practice being alert to how the devil tries to entrap us, then we can find ways to avoid him. And avoid is what we must do. If we try to negotiate with the devil we can not win. Power is something that we all find attractive, it’s how we are made up. We like to do well, to be successful and we like to see our families doing well also. However, if our success means having power over others there is a very strong possibility that we have allowed the devil to lead us. Jesus gave a powerful example with the washing of the apostles’ feet. The only success that protects our souls is the success of helping others. I heard the term recently “The servant leader”. I think this is what we should strive for in every part of our lives. In our families, in our church, in our communities & in our work. This was Jesus’s model, he is God and he came to serve.
The temptation of power is so distracting because it can compensate for our lack of self love. And when we take the first taste of it, it grows. However, our lack of self love also grows with it. As we seen with Judas his lack of self love overwhelmed him because of his ultimate attempt to have power over God. He couldn’t live with himself. This is how dangerous this temptation can be. Often addictions come with the lack of self love. None of us are perfect and we will occasionally be caught with this attraction to power. It comes at us seductively & we can be tempted to flirt with it. It’s dangerous and it can ruin our lives. If we can manage to keep our focus on Jesus, make him our role model, recognise that he is our brother and we are all made in the image and likeness of God then we can perhaps begin to recognise the beauty of who we are. That’s a beauty that’s as much internal as external. Our souls are the most beautiful part of who we are. How could they not be, this is where God is within us. I think by spending time with Jesus, in quiet prayer and reflecting on his human image we can come to see the beautiful people that we are, we can learn to love ourselves in the same way that God loves us. We can possibly think about Judas from today as a man who didn’t love himself & this allowed the devil to access him.
Lord on this day when we remember your triumphant entrance to Jerusalem, help us to remember your example of the servant leader. Amen.