GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY – 11TH APRIL 2017
GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY (based on Catholic Liturgical Readings)
DATE: 11TH APRIL 2017
TUESDAY OF HOLY WEEK
FIRST READING: Isaiah 49:1-6
PSALM: Psalm 71:1-6, 15, 17
GOSPEL: John 13:21-33, 36-38
THEME: O JUDAS!
A spiritual guru once gave me this piece of advice, “The closer you get to the Lord, the more careful you must be, lest you become a tool for the devil.” How true are the words of this wise man!
Judas, apparently, hailed from a town called Kerioth; perhaps that may explain the name Judas Iscariot, meaning Judas from Kerioth. Judas might have been highly thought of in the Jewish community, especially by the Jewish leaders because out of the twelve apostles, it appears he was the only one who came from the southern part of Israel (i.e. Judea) and there was the perception that the “good guys” were from Judean towns in the south (cf. Jn.1:46).
The fact that Judas was entrusted with the common fund meant he was considered trustworthy and a good administrator. He had to make important financial decisions for the rest.
Some biblical scholars are of the view that Judas was probably a member of an anti-roman freedom fighting group and had hoped that Jesus would lead a Jewish revolution to overthrow the Romans and give back Israel to the Jews. However, all that Jesus did was to preach and heal, not to fight. Disappoint might have set in and in our Gospel text for today, we are told, “…Satan entered into him…he immediately went out. And it was night” (Jn 13:27, 30).
He betrayed Jesus for an amount as little as thirty pieces of silver, the amount of money needed to buy a common slave. Today, the name of Judas Iscariot is synonymous to a betrayer.
Reflecting on the unfortunate end of Judas, we can learn two important lessons:
1. The closer one gets to the Lord, the more prayerful and careful one ought to be. From the very day Jesus was born into this world until now, the forces of darkness have sought to extinguish His light, and the instruments that they often choose to use for their diabolic agenda are those that are closest to Him.
2. We ought not to take “small” sins likely. Small sins are the very sins that grow to become “big” sins in future. What might have started as pilfering in the life of Judas ended up in a betrayal of his saviour.
St. Paul, in one of his letters, warned the Christians in Corinth, “Everyone, no matter how firmly he thinks he is standing must be careful he does not fall” (1Cor. 10:12).
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, keep me close to your heart and deliver me from betraying you. Amen
Andrews Obeng, svd
DIVINE WORD MISSIONARIES
BIBLICAL PASTORAL MINISTRY
“May the darkness of sin and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the Word and the Spirit of grace. And may the heart of Jesus live in the hearts of all people” (St. Arnold Janssen).