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Wednesday in Holy Week



St John 13: 21-32

Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, "Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me." The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking.  One of his disciples—the one whom Jesus loved—was reclining next to him. Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking.  So while reclining next to Jesus, he asked him, "Lord, who is it?" Jesus 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.  After he received the piece of bread Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, "Do quickly what you are going to do." 

Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him.  Some 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.  So, 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.  If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. 

Reflection –The darkness of betrayal

The focus here is on Judas Iscariot. The disciples are sharing a meal and are appalled when Jesus declares that one of them will betray him. We can just imagine them all looking askance at each other. Who could it be? The disciple whom Jesus loved (code for John himself) asks if it might be him, at which point Jesus offers Judas a morsel of bread and asks him to do quickly what he has in mind. This appears to have been a whispered conversation, for the others think Judas, who looked after the money, was being sent out on an errand, perhaps to give something to the poor. But his task was more sinister, a point emphasised by the reference to it being night. It seems the lights are going out across Jerusalem.


Lord Jesus Christ, betrayed for thirty pieces of silver, deserted by your disciples, denied by Peter, mocked by Herod, scourged by Pilate, crowned with thorns and nailed to the cross; humbly and with all our heart we thank you for your suffering and death, by which we are forgiven and redeemed, Amen. (JWG Masterton)

Hymn: O Sacred Head, sore wounded (CH4 382)

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