Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection March 27, 2024


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R/. In your great mercy, answer me, O Lord, for a time of your favour.

V/. Glory and praise to you, O Christ

R/. Glory and praise to you, O Christ

V/. Hail to you, our King; you alone are compassionate with our faults.

R/. Glory and praise to you, O Christ.

At that time: One of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him. Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where would you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?” He said, “Go into the city to a certain man and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.’” And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover. When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve. And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me. The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” Judas, who would betray him, answered, “Is it I, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said so.”

1.      The scene is preparing rapidly for terminating Jesus. Judas Iscariot joins hands with the chief priests. He enters into a deal with them. Thirty pieces of silver for delivering Jesus over to them. How ironic it is that he is offering to kill the author of life! How ungrateful it is to do evil to the one who did only good to him! How cruel it is that a disciple who must constantly seek every opportunity to defend his master, is now seeking an opportunity to kill him!

2.      But from his part, Jesus’ approach and dealing with him does not change. He knew the betrayer. He knew his evil intention and plans. Yet, he does not react or retort. He does not expose him. He does not betray him in the public. The disciple might fail but the master never fails.

3.      The figure of the suffering servant of Yahweh in the first reading perfectly fits Jesus. He is not rebellious. He did not turn backward. He does not hide his face from disgrace. He is prepared to accept and bear everything. But it is not out of helplessness. He is not frustrated or depressed. He is composed.

4.      This composure and mental strength were possible only because of his total surrender and abandonment to God. He embodies the same depth of trust and entrustment of the suffering servant. “But the Lord God helps me. He who vindicates me is near.

5. I will not be put to shame. Who will contend with me? Who is my adversary? Who will declare me guilty? Behold, all of them will wear out like a garment”.

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