In today’s Gospel reading, Judas Iscariot makes the decision to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. As I heard the reading, I wondered, how could someone so close to Jesus betray him for money? Thinking about that, I went one step further, and began to ask myself if I betray Jesus in any form by the way I live today?
It’s a difficult question to ask, but one that I am willing to examine, especially during Holy Week. Judas betrayed Jesus for money. For a point of reference, 30 pieces of silver was about the same as two months of wages in Jesus’ time. However, the way I think about it, we each can betray Jesus in small ways almost every day! Just think about how many times you put other things before Jesus in your life every day. Sure, the betrayals are not nearly as grave as the one of Judas, but they are betrayals nonetheless.
To give just a few examples from my own life, there have been days when instead of going to Mass or praying, I have decided to go shopping, sleep in or watch television. Can those small actions be construed as putting things before Jesus? Probably. Then there are the bigger picture items, for example, I sometimes must struggle to forgive others, even though Jesus asks us to do just that. After hearing the Gospel today, I began to look at the familiar story of Judas in a different way, and ask myself, what is Jesus worth to me? It gives me a new perspective on my spiritual life.
I have found that Holy Week is a good time to do a personal examination of my conscience to identify those areas of my life where I put other things before Jesus and my faith so I can work on them.
(FYI: In case you are wondering the Gospel reading was Matthew 26:14-25).