him or self?
“Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples (the one about to hand Him over), protested...” —John 12:4
The four Suffering Servant readings from Isaiah during Holy Week reveal that there is no self-centeredness in the Suffering Servant (Is 42:1-7; Is 49:1-6; Is 50:4-9; Is 52:13—53:12). Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, a holy family devoted to Jesus, reveal a focus on Jesus and a lack of self-interest as they minister hospitality to Jesus (Jn 12:1ff). Sadly, Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve apostles chosen by Jesus, showed a total focus on himself and a lack of focus on Jesus during the week he most needed to fix his eyes on Jesus (see Heb 3:1; 12:2).
Judas figures prominently in the Holy Week readings for Mass because his spiritual stance could become our own. He is a reflection of our fallen human nature. Judas accuses Mary and tries to make her selfless actions of love for Jesus seem selfish. This accusation imitates Satan, who accuses God’s holy people night and day (Rv 12:10). Additionally, Judas sought his own gain, considered Jesus’ gain to be a “waste” (Mk 14:4), and resisted Jesus’ outreach to him (Mt 26:14). May the same not be said of us who seek to follow Jesus.
As Holy Week begins, is there any “self” in our lives? This Holy Week, let us obey these words of Jesus, words which Judas heard but rejected: “Whoever wishes to be My follower must deny his very self, take up his cross each day, and follow in My steps” (Lk 9:23).
Prayer: Father, show me clearly any areas of my life where I have turned my back on Jesus. Help me to offer myself completely to You.
Promise: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear?” —Ps 27:1
Praise: Mel, a company vice-president, receives the Eucharist each morning before starting his workday.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
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