Musings on Holy Wednesday: Judas’ Kiss of Betrayal
Our Lord Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday) was a day of exuberance. People welcomed Him by rejoicing and praising Him, bringing with them palm branches as a symbol of good intentions for peace, victory, among others. However, things did not end well.
There were some people in power who grabbed the opportunity of the event to discuss on how to design the trap , maneuver the arrest, trial, and ultimately Jesus’ death on the cross. These people disliked Jesus because of His miracles and they were also jealous of Him because of his charismatic human nature, i.e., that He was able to draw crowds and people’s attention.
The said 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 thirty pieces of silver. It is during Holy Wednesday that we recall Judas’ betrayal in collaboration with the chief priests, in exchange for money.
The said kiss of Judas turned out to be very tragic. Judas himself committed suicide and failed to ask for God’s forgiveness, even if he regretted for what he had done. And the said kiss which happened on Holy Wednesday signaled the end of the Lenten season, and the start of the Holy Triduum (the 3 great liturgical days), leading to the Road to Calvary, the passion and death of Jesus (Holy Thursday and Good Friday) and His Resurrection on Easter Sunday.
Many Judases are liberally scattered in every corners of the world; betrayals are being undertaken/encountered left and right, especially in politics and even in so-called ideal and happy families. Some commit the same mistakes and the tragic acts of Judas’, while others don’t realize who the Judases are in their lives. Indeed, history has a way of repeating itself…and that’s really sad.
May we be reminded that while material things are definitely necessary in our lives, however, the more we love and desire for money make us more susceptible to committing sin our own way, just like what Judas did. If we don’t control ourselves in the use of our wealth, we may end up sinning all over again, as we are in a world filled with temptations. However, despite our shortcomings and weaknesses, we are given second chances by God to go back to Him. It is up to us. Judas Iscariot was one of the Apostles, which means that he was a follower of Jesus, believed in Him as God and Savior. But his desire for money clouded his faith in God. He hanged himself in the end.
Our loving and generous God, grant us the grace of wisdom and understanding so as not to choose our will, but Your will. May the wealth of all men be used in more meaningful and productive purposes that are accord with Your standards. May everyone be able to grab the opportunity of so-called “second chances” and strive to be better persons and be good followers of Yours. Amen.
As we go to our respective churches during this remaining days of Holy Week, may we be reminded that everything happened because of God’s love for mankind. He will always be there to forgive us of our inequities and selfishness because of His desire for everyone to be with Him in Heaven. Thus, let’s offer the kind of hugs and kisses of St. Peter’s to our family, friends (even those who don’t like us) and other people, than that of Judas’ kiss of betrayal!
Have a blessed and meaningful Holy Week/Holy Triduum to one and all!