“Hear His words this week.” That’s how I ended the last post. Hear His words; it’s time to make a decision about Him.
Jerusalem has chosen her Lamb, and the Lamb walks among them, making Himself known to them, speaking out openly now; and the people are examing Jesus: listening, inspecting, testing, questioning…scrutinizing.
Three categories of people here:
1. The people, the multitudes, listened to Jesus, heard His words, and were attracted to Him all the more.
2. The religious authorities, who questioned Him publicly, challenging Him to expose His errors, to reveal the spots and blemishes in his doctrine, and yet they knew that somehow His answers exposed their own faulty hearts. (Mt, 21:45, 46 ” And when the chief priests and the Pharisees had heard His parables, they knew that He spoke of them. And seeking to lay hands on Him, they feared the multitudes, because they held Him as a prophet.” )
3. Third, there were many people who didn’t care either way. These were the ones who, a couple of days later, were quite happy to be told how to think about this Man…and what to shout out at the right time.
On this Wednesday, as these days of Our Lord’s teaching and being examined comes to a close, Judas had already made up his mind, that this Jesus is a poor excuse for a messiah.
One can plainly see what this world needs, with the unfairness of poverty, disease, and lack of political power. The true messiah ought to be able to make this world a Better Place!
The authorities wanted to “lay their hands on Jesus” — then Judas will just offer his help.
This is treachery in the heart of a friend of Jesus. The Church, from its earliest days, knowing that the capacity for such treachery lies in everyone’s heart, has set apart Wednesdays as a day of fasting and penance – in remembrance of and reparation for Judas’s act.
It is practiced now by anyone who studies the words of Jesus and then knows that his own heart might yet be faulty. “Save me, O God, by thy name, and judge me in thy strength.” (Psalm 53:3)