Here is my homily from last night’s Mass. God bless each of you!
Our Gospel yesterday, if you recall, was John’s account of the betrayal of Jesus by Judas. In that account, we heard that Judas took the morsel, and Satan entered him… and it was night.
Today, we hear Matthew’s account of that same betrayal. Matthew recounts how Jesus told his apostles at the Last Supper that he would be betrayed by one of them. All of the apostles were deeply disturbed and eleven of them said, “Surely, it is not I, Lord!” Only one of them, Judas said, “Surely, it is not I, Rabbi.”
Eleven of the apostles were able to call Jesus “Lord.” Only Judas didn’t. He couldn’t bring himself to say “Lord.” He didn’t have the faith required to recognize in Jesus the divine lordship. Judas only saw a rabbi, a teacher, and there were many rabbis of the time.
There was a great darkness in Judas and the darkness of Satan rendered him unable to see Jesus for who he was, so he would sell him out and hand him over. Judas couldn’t comprehend how God’s presence could be in such a man who was about to suffer, be tortured and die. Later, Judas would despair of God’s mercy. There was indeed a great darkness about him.
After all Jesus had said and did in such an evident way, even still, Judas was blinded and lost his faith.
My friends, we too are in darkness sometimes, aren’t we? We too fail to recognize Jesus, especially in the suffering of the world and its people. We too would rather betray and abandon him when we are confronted by fear, suffering, distress. Darkness can overtake us, but we, unlike Judas, must never despair of God’s presence, his love and his mercy.
Let us now, with the 24 hours that remain for us this Lent before we enter the Triduum, pray fervently for the faith to see clearly Jesus as Lord as we walk with him as he carries the Cross to Golgotha, as we wait patiently for him as he lay in the tomb, and as we rejoice in his resurrection from the dead on Easter.