Wednesday of Holy Week

Psalm 70
1  O God, make speed to save me; 
   O Lord, make haste to help me.
2  Let those who seek my life
      be put to shame and confusion; 

   let them be turned back and disgraced
      who wish me evil.

3  Let those who mock and deride me 
   turn back because of their shame.
4  But let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; 
   let those who love your salvation say always, ‘Great is the Lord!’
5  As for me, I am poor and needy; 
   come to me quickly, O God.
6  You are my help and my deliverer; 
   O Lord, do not delay.
 Gospel Reading John 13.21–32
After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, ‘Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.’ 22The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking. 23One of his disciples—the one whom Jesus loved—was reclining next to him; 24Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. 25So while reclining next to Jesus, he asked him, ‘Lord, who is it?’ 26Jesus answered, ‘It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.’ So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot.27After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, ‘Do quickly what you are going to do.’ 28Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. 29Some thought that, because Judas had the common purse, Jesus was telling him, ‘Buy what we need for the festival’; or, that he should give something to the poor. 30So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.When he had gone out, Jesus said, ‘Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.
What motivated Judas?  Was it greed? He was the keeper of the common purse, he protested against Mary’s extravagance in anointing Jesus, ostensibly because he was concerned for the poor.  He conspired with the chief priests in order to betray Jesus, and they promised a monetary reward.  What is our attitude towards money?  Are we generous?  Are we guilty of placing too much importance on our own financial security?  We face economic uncertainties as never before – the implications of the coronavirus pandemic in economic terms is frightening. We may have placed our trust in money, investments and financial security, but now we find our lives are far less secure than before.   Are we tempted to hoard all the more, out of fear, as seen with the rise in panic buying?  Or dare we trust in provision of God and to be satisfied with enough? Do we have a genuine concern for the wellbeing of the poorest in our society, and in the world?  Will our priorities be shaped differently in the future by what is happening to us all today?  Are we prepared to have less in order that others may have more? As Jesus taught, ‘what does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and yet forfeit his soul?’  Whatever Judas’ motivation, the real tragedy for him is that he lost hope, and could not bring himself to believe in the possibility of restoration.  Can we hold on to hope even in the darkest hours of our lives?  Can we trust in Jesus who knew what it was to be troubled in spirit, and seek strength from him?
Holy God, may we find wisdom in your presence 
and set our hope not on uncertain riches, 
but on the love that holds us to the end;
In Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.
Song: Take my life 

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you;
by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.
God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
We preach Christ crucified,
the power of God and the wisdom of God.
By your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.
God forbid that I should glory,
save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you;
by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.


 During Holy Week you might like spend some time reading the Passion narrative in Matthew’s Gospel (Matthew 26:14-27 end).

I wonder what stands out for you this year? Feel free to share any thoughts, questions or impressions that you may have this week.