+ We come now to the last day of Lent. Our preparation for the highest holy days of the year is complete. To the extent that we have turned away from sin and turned to the Lord – we shall have spiritually meaningful and profitable holy days. To the extent that we have not, we will not. It is distressing to see the beginning of the final prophecies being fulfilled with Judas Iscariot ready to betray Jesus, his friend. How could he do that? we might say – from our vantage point of history. But we must ask ourselves how can we betray him as well – at times – in both deliberate and unconscious sorts of ways, from the same vantage point of history. We may not be talking about big betrayals here – but the small ones are not less offensive. And just as Jesus was rightly upset with Judas for doing what he did, Jesus also gets upset with us for what we do. But, Judas thought of himself unworthy of his Lord's forgiveness; Judas was thinking only as Judas thinks and not as God does – and so he missed his chance at reconciliation and peace. That need not happen to us: Jesus is always ready to offer grace and peace to those who even betray and sin against him; all we need to is turn to him fully and ask him humbly; that, after all, goes hand in hand with being the redeemer and savior that he is!
And so let us enter into these holiest days of the year with great humility – knowing that Jesus went through his Passion for us – each, individually – and for us as a group; and also with a great sense of gratitude for his offering us forgiveness and new life.
May the joy of Easter be yours after these days of contemplating the price of it: the brutal death of our beloved Friend and Brother, Jesus Christ.
Hail to you, our King, obedient to the Father; you were led to your crucifixion like a gentle lamb to the slaughter.