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Since 1732, the Redemptorists — a congregation of missionary priests and brothers — have followed in Jesus’ footsteps, preaching the Word and serving the poor and most abandoned.
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Lenten reflection, day 42

The Old Testament readings yesterday, today, and tomorrow come from Isaiah’s prophesy of Jesus, the Suffering Servant. The Gospels depict three meals in which Judas, the betrayer, is present.

In the Gospel today, Jesus said, “I tell you solemnly, one of you will betray me.” Peter asked John to find out who it was. Jesus answered, “The one to whom I give the bit of food I dip in the dish.” He dipped the morsel and gave it to Judas. No sooner had Judas eaten the morsel than he went out. John’s Gospel tells us, “It was night.”

It was night when the Sanhedrin met and falsely tried Jesus. And it was night when Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss.

Have you ever been betrayed? Once a poor man came to me to beg for help for his little daughter. I gave him a check for $100. He forged the check to make it $1,000. I felt betrayed. And how do married people feel when their spouse commits adultery?

If Judas had not committed suicide, he would have heard Jesus say to him what he had said to Peter, who had denied him. He would have heard the word shalom—“peace be with you.”

Can we forgive those who have betrayed us? Lord, forgive us, as we forgive. During this Holy Week, we ask God to make us like Jesus. This is a week of abundant grace that empowers us to let go: to wish blessings on those who have hurt us, to heal the memories of the past that still disturb us.

Father Paul Bryan, C.Ss.R.
Ephrata, Pa.

Scripture readings for today: Isaiah 49:1-6; Psalm 71; John 13:21-33, 36-38