Catholic Men’s Lenten Gospel Pilgrimage – Holy Week – Wednesday – Matt 26:14-25
Following His triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, Christ teaches in the Temple during the days preceding the Passover and returns to the small town of Bethany on the Mount of Olives in the evening. Earlier, Judas, who wanted to sell the expensive oil that Mary (sister of Lazarus) used to anoint Christ and steal the proceeds, was rebuked by Christ; Judas’ long-simmering sins lead him to sneak away and he freely makes a deal to betray Christ to the Jewish leadership for a paltry 30 pieces of silver.
Commanded by God (Ex 12), Jews annually remembered God’s deliverance from bondage in Egypt by eating a ritual meal which recalled the Night of the Passover; prayers were said, four cups of wine were ritually drank and a lamb sacrificed at the Temple was eaten along with bitter herbs. Christ, the perfection of the Law, keeps the Passover, sending His Apostles to the owner of a home with the Upper Room in Jerusalem to prepare the Passover feast; after the Resurrection, Christ will appear to the Apostles in the Upper Room.
Later that evening at the Passover feast, Christ reveals that one of the Twelve will betray Him. Struggling to believe that one of them might betray Christ, each of the Apostles ask Christ if it is they. Christ again repeats that one of them will indeed betray Him (“has dipped his hand in the dish with Me”) and mysteriously alludes to the horrific fate that awaits the betrayer. Judas, the last to ask and hoping that Christ does not realize he is the betrayer, asks, “Is it I, Master?” Christ confirms Judas’ treachery.
1) Marvel at how as a Person of the Trinity, Christ establishes the Passover, “keeps” the Passover 1200 years later and then transforms the Passover by becoming the Sacrificial Lamb of God and establishing the Eucharist.
2) Most Catholic men fail to “keep” their weekly obligation to participate in Christ’s Mass (CCC 2041-2043). During Holy Week, be mournful that Christ died to establish the Eucharist (CCC 1339-1340) and pray for Christ to help you never again fail in your obligations to attend Mass each week.
3) Like Judas, men’s thoughts and actions that betray Christ through sin are known by Christ. During Holy Week, meditate upon your unavoidable Judgment (CCC 1021-1022; 1038-1041) and pray for Christ to give you the grace to live each day to honor, rather than betray, Him.
Focus on Fatherhood – Christ has commanded that every Catholic Son worthy of the Kingdom must perform Works of Mercy. Pray for Christ to help you learn, remember and regularly and daily Perform the Corporal Works of Mercy to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger and homeless, visit the sick, visit the imprisoned and bury the dead.