When it was evening, he took his place with the twelve; and while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.” And they became greatly distressed and began to say to him one after another, “Surely not I, Lord?” He answered, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.” Judas, who betrayed him, said, “Surely not I, Rabbi?” He replied, “You have said so.” Matthew 26:17-25
Last evening, as the whole of France was celebrating their independence, one person betrayed the revelers by driving a truck into a crowd innocent people. It was a wondrous celebration turned into a nightmare of horrific proportions. One individual betrayed the goodness of people, took his anger out on the undeserving, used by violent people who hide behind their faith. Sadly, we live in a world where one person can destroy the joy of so many.
Jesus knew he was to be betrayed, as he knew the heart of humanity. Greed and celebrity were no less on Judas' mind than any other weak human heart. We are too easily persuaded by violent and selfish people, who hide behind their righteousness and their faith to perpetrate evil and betrayal. Jesus knew that God's love could not stop the actions of one angry man. But God's love is conquering the evil in our world, day by day. The betrayal by Judas is not the end of the story. We are invited to live, not giving in to the weaknesses and greed which we are offered, but rather live so that love is all we do, love is all we know.
Today I ask God to help us all take a moment to clear our hearts of all greed, envy and anger. May we not be swept up in retaliation or justification in the face of betrayal, but rather find new ways to serve the people who need love desperately today.