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Musings on Holy Wednesday: Embrace the Love of Forgiveness and Guard Against Kiss of Betrayal

A passage taken from the Gospel reading today states that one of the twelve Apostles, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” They paid him thirty pieces of silver, and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over. Matthew 26:14–16. This story of Judas plotting his betrayal against Jesus with the chief priests is remembered on Holy Wednesday.

It was also mentioned that certain powerful people who were considered “honorable” during those times were thirsting for revenge against Jesus. They have exercised influence on Judas Iscariot, one of Jesus’ Apostles, to identify and squeal them His whereabouts. It was in the Garden of Gethsemani when Judas kissed on Jesus’ cheeks in exchange for a few pieces of silver. Unfotuantely, the said kiss of Judas turned out to be very tragic. Judas himself, took his own life, failing to seek forgiveness from God.

In our contemporary lives, we must acknowledge the potential for betrayal within ourselves, even among those closest to us. Judases exist in every corner of the world, perpetrating betrayals in various spheres, including politics and happy families. Some repeat Judas’ tragic mistakes, while others remain oblivious to the Judases in their midst. History, sadly, often repeats itself. Throughout our past and present lives, we have all committed wrongdoings. Despite our transgressions, God has forgiven us for our sins and granted us second chances to rectify our lives. However, there are moments when we find ourselves repeating the same mistakes, despite promising not to do so again. Unfortunately, we fail repeatedly.

The story of Judas’ kiss, which supposedly was a symbol of friendship and trust, was ultimately used as a tool of betrayal. It offers a poignant reflection on themes of deception, trust, and the consequences of one’s actions, which resonate in the modern world, particularly in the context of the proliferation of fake news and counterfeit attitudes toward others. Indeed, there are some people who embrace deceitful attitudes and dealing with them can indeed be challenging. In confronting these challenges, there is a pressing need for discernment, critical thinking, and ethical responsibility in how we engage with information and interact with others. Like Jesus’ response to Judas’ betrayal, which was characterized by forgiveness and grace, we are called to respond to falsehoods and deception with integrity, compassion, and a commitment to truth.

Just as Judas’ betrayal had far-reaching consequences, the dissemination of fake news can have profound effects on individuals, communities, and even entire societies. It can sow division, fuel distrust, and erode the fabric of civil discourse. Moreover, fake attitudes and insincere behaviors toward others can undermine genuine relationships, leading to feelings of betrayal and disillusionment.

Furthermore, the story of Judas serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of prioritizing personal gain or misguided ideologies over principles of honesty, empathy, and justice. It reminds us of the importance of upholding moral values and respecting the dignity of every individual, even in the face of temptation or societal pressures.

Ultimately, the narrative of Judas’ kiss of betrayal invites us to reflect on our own actions and choices, challenging us to cultivate authenticity, empathy, and integrity in our interactions with others and in our pursuit of truth and justice in an increasingly complex and interconnected world.

As we gather in our respective places of worship today, let us remember that all events unfolded out of God’s boundless love for humanity. He offers forgiveness for our shortcomings and selfishness, desiring unity with Him in Paradise for all. Therefore, let us emulate the embracing and loving gestures of St. Peter, rather than the treacherous kiss of Judas. On this Holy Wednesday, let us reflect on our faults, repent for our shortcomings, and earnestly seek God’s forgiveness. May we repent for our faults, and seek for God’s forgiveness, and faithfully promise to refrain from committing sins any longer, striving to live in accordance with God’s will.

Have a blessed and meaningful Holy Week/Holy Triduum to one and all!

Jesus, King of Mercy, we trust in You. Amen.

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