Gospel: “One of the twelve who was called Judas Iscariot went to the chief priest and said, what will you give me if I betray him to you?” Matthew 26. 14-26
The gospel for today is a narrative about the betrayal of Judas Iscariot. Betrayal is when someone you trust lies to you, cheats on you, abuses you, and hurts you by putting their own self- interest first. Betrayal is probably the most devastating loss a person can experience. This is exactly what Judas did to our Lord Jesus Christ.
Who is Judas Iscariot? Looking back at the history of the origin of the apostles, all of Jesus apostles are Galilean by origin except Judas Iscariot who has its roots to a town south of Jerusalem which means that this man is an outsider to the circle of apostles. Second, he had a little or very poor personal relationship with Jesus. The general order in the list of the apostles indicates their relative closeness of their personal relationship with Jesus and we could easily notice Judas is always listed last which suggests his lack of personal relationship with Jesus. Judas didn’t even call Jesus “Lord” but only recognized Jesus as Rabbi or just a mere teacher. In others words, there are at least two aggravating circumstances that might have triggered Judas to betray Jesus. He was a stranger to the group that he might have work little to advance and improve an open and intimate relationship with his fellow apostles and the other thing is that he did not take those ample opportunities to build a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
This odd situation had isolated us from one another for almost three weeks. Our physical connections had been cut and forced us to live on our own. The suspension of masses can also make us a poor relationship with Jesus. May I therefore, encourage everybody to please make use of the modern technology to keep our communication open with one another. Let us make the first move to make phone calls, be active on social media to share our stories, our struggles, loneliness, uncertainties, frustrations as well as blessings that we received and lessons that we learned. Keep watching the mass live streaming everyday so that we can continue nourishing our relationship with Jesus. Our desolation should not make us indifferent in our intimacy with our fellow parishioners and lukewarm with God. Maintaining such vibrant relationship will surely bring us to total contrast of betrayal, that is faithfulness to God and mutual respect to one another.