While Jesus was still speaking Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a large crowd, with swords and clubs, who had come from the chief priests and the elders of the people. His betrayer had arranged a sign with them, saying, The man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him. Immediately he went over to Jesus and said, Hail, Rabbi! and he kissed him. Jesus answered him, Friend, do what you have come for. Then stepping forward they laid hands on Jesus and arrested him. (Mt. 26:47:50)
No matter how many times weve heard it, theres still a shock when we see one of the Twelve leading a crowd with swords and clubs to seize Jesus and send him to his death.
The real jolt comes from the fact that Judas had a close personal relationship with Jesus. Judas also had a close relationship with the other members of the Twelve. They were a small, close-knit group.
A close relationship gone sour whether its parents and grown children, husbands and wives, longtime close friends is always a sad story.
Later that night, when Jesus was in his holding cell at the high priests house and everyone was asleep, Jesus must have turned this over and over in his mind. What went wrong between me and Judas? Is there anything I could have done to prevent this?
It was too late. He was a prisoner, and tomorrow theyd surely kill him. Hed never see Judas again in this life. Its a sad story.
Lord, help me to stay close to you.
Spend some quiet time with the Lord.
Almsgiving, Fasting, Prayer
Fasting is an ancient disciples long recognized as a way of opening oneself more fully to the presence of God. It also activates the mind and spirit, directing energy there that would have been spent on digestion. It can also contribute to physical health, rinsing the body of dead and weak cells.
Down through the centuries Christians have practiced various forms of fasting from food and drink during Lent but never on Sunday because each Sunday is a celebration of the resurrection a little Easter.
Some ways to fast are:
Taking only one full meal a day, and reducing the other two meals to a very small amount, and/or
No solid food between meals, and/or
Meatless meals (referred to as abstinence) or
No food or drink at all from sunrise to sunset, or
Taking only water for 24 hours or longer.
The Church calls upon each person to do some fasting during Lent, adapted to the individual. Those who for health reasons can not fast from food, can fast from something else.
Since the days of the early Church, Friday has been a traditional day of fasting (and abstinence) because it is the day of the Lords death.