Introduction: eleventh ‘Lectio Divina’ on Mark 14:10-11, 17-19 and 43-46, will deal with one of last failures by the disciples, Judas. These texts illustrates that even the closest friends of Jesus can turn his back on him, betraying or abandoning him. This tells us that not one can be invulnerable to fall.
You have called me
to follow your Son Jesus
who has showed me his ways,
give the strength and courage
to be detached from anything
that can impede to follow him faithfully.
- Read the Gospel of Mark 14:10-11, 17-19 and 43-46, read those verses slowly and listen attentively to the scriptures with the ‘ear of your heart’. What word, sentence or phrase stands out for you?
- Reflect: read the passage again and pay attention of what touches you; why is it meaningful for you. What thought or reflection comes to you.
- Respond: read the passage again but this time respond spontaneously to the word of God. In other words, make a dialogue with God what comes from within you. What gift does this passage lead me to ask for from the Lord?
- Stay with the Word: read the passage a final time and rest in the word. Allow God to speak to you in deep silence. Don’t say anything just listen to God’s words. What is He saying?
- Take now the word, sentence or phase, into your daily life/activity; allow it to become part of you. Always listen to it, reflect on it, pray over it and rest on it as time allows during the day. Then allow the Word lead you action.
Concluding your ‘Lectio Divina’ with the ‘Our Father’…
Introduction: Mark 14:10-11, 17-19 and 43-46, these verses illustrate how Judas being one of the close friends of Jesus and chosen to be an Apostle like the others, was not immune to betray and hand over his Master and friend, to the chief priest the scribes and the elders to be killed. What it really happen to him we don’t know exactly but the fact is that Jesus had already predicted his betrayal.
Central Message: a) Judas one of the twelve; b) approached the chief priest with an offer to hand Jesus over to them; c) one of you is about to betray me, one of you eating with me and d) ‘the one I kiss…He is the one’.
- ‘Judas one of the twelve’. Judas undoubtedly was chosen by Jesus to be his disciple and do like the others did, although the gospels don’t tell us about it but we presume that he also was curing, expelling demons etc., since all the apostles received that power by Jesus himself. The person of Judas is a mysterious figure in the gospels they only tell us that he was Judas Iscariot, the man of Kariot. In the Greek translation would be “a dagger-bearer” since he was presumed to be a member of the most radical arm of the Zealots. Anyway, whoever he was Jesus chose him as his disciple, to be with him. Perhaps Jesus had the intention to save him or to rescue him or to change him by his Love. What could have Jesus thought of him when he chose him? Was that to accomplish the scriptures?
- ‘Approached the chief priest with an offer to hand Jesus over to them’. We could speculate here a bit of the reasons why Judas betrayed his Master his friend. Perhaps Judas had his own agenda, being the money keeper of the group, it indicates that he may have liked or have ambition for money (Jn 12, 6). Could have been money his main motivation of his action? Could have been a political one since he was a Zealot who believed that the Messiah would have come as a military leader to liberate the Jews from the Roman oppressors. Whatever he might have in mind, he definitely had a plan, for no one does anything without a motivation or aim. What moved him to have done such a thing to his best friend and his Saviour Jesus?
- ‘one of you is about to betray me, one of you eating with me’…Jesus in the most intimate moment with his disciples, sharing the bread and cup of Love, he announces the betrayal ‘one of you is to betray me’. Already Jesus’ soul was sorrowful; he already felt the abandonment not only by one of his disciples but by all of them who chose to be with him to share his life and mission. The disciples felt confused with pain and grief and so they asked him ‘not I surely’. These words became true as Jesus was arrested they all deserted him and ran away (Mk 14, 50). Where are those bravery words spoken by all specially by Peter? ‘If I have to die with you I will never disown you’, and he was the first one to denied him three times. Pope Benedict said: “it is a mistake to think that the great privilege of living in company with Jesus is enough to make a person holy.
- ‘The one I kiss…He is the one’. Judas used a ‘kiss’ as a code to hand over his Master to the religious authorities. No one could think that such a code could be used in friendship for betrayal. A kiss is normally used as a sign of intimate love and friendship. Why then Judas used it? He was going to hand over his Master to be killed only the enemy could do that. Maybe he was so naïve thinking that Jesus wouldn’t have known he was to be hand over by that sign and so he acted as he normally did in his encounters with him. Only Judas and God would have known what was really going on with him.
Some questions for our reflexion:
- What would you feel and do if you were betrayed by your best friend?
- Would you recognise in yourself the times when you betrayed Jesus? If so, what did you do?
- What did Jesus say to you?