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Subj:	 MATTHEW 26:14-25: WEDNESDAY'S GOSPEL FOR REFLECTION
Date:	3/30/99 4:59:58 AM Pacific Standard Time
From:	mtuazon@ix.netcom.com (Manuel Tuazon)
Reply-to:	early-word-request@cin.org
To:	early-word@cin.org

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)

For: Wednesday, March 31, 1999

Holy Wednesday

From: Matthew 26:14-25

Judas Betrays Jesus
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[14] Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the
chief priests [15] and said, "What will you give me if I deliver Him
(Jesus) to you?"  And they paid him thirty pieces of silver.  [16] And
from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray Him.

Preparations for the Last Supper
--------------------------------
[17] Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to
Jesus, saying, "Where will You have us prepare for You to eat the
Passover?"  [18] He said, "Go into the city to such a one, and say to
him, `The Teacher says, My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at
your house with My disciples.'"  [19] And the disciples did as Jesus
had directed them, and they prepared for the Passover.

[20] When it was evening, He sat at table with the twelve disciples;
[21] and as they were eating, He said, "Truly, I say to you, one of you
will betray Me."  [22] And they were very sorrowful, and began to say
to Him one after another, "Is it I, Lord?"  [23] He answered, "He who
has dipped his hand in the dish with Me, will betray Me.  [24] The Son
of Man goes as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the
Son of Man is betrayed!  It would have been better for that man if he
had not been born."  [25] Judas, who betrayed Him, said, "Is it I,
Master?" He said to him, "You have said so."

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Commentary:

15. It is disconcerting and sobering to realize that Judas Iscariot
actually went as far as to sell the man whom he had believed to be the
Messiah and who had called him to be one of the Apostles.  Thirty
shekels or pieces of silver were the price of a slave (cf. Exodus
21:32), the same value as Judas put on his Master.

17. This unleavened bread, azymes, took the form of loaves which had to
be eaten over a seven-day period, in commemoration of the unleavened
bread which the Israelites had to take with them in their hurry to
leave Egypt (cf. Exodus 12:34).  In Jesus' time the Passover supper was
celebrated on the first day of the week of the Unleavened Bread.

18. Although the reference is to an unnamed person, probably our Lord
gave the person's actual name.  In any event, from what other
evangelists tell us (Mark 14:13; Luke 22:10), Jesus gave the disciples
enough information to enable them to find the house.

22. Although the glorious events of Easter have yet to occur (which
will teach the Apostles much more about Jesus), their faith has been
steadily fortified and deepened in the course of Jesus' public ministry
(cf. John 2:11; 6:68-69) through their contact with Him and the divine
grace they have been given (cf. Matthew 16:17).  At this point they are
quite convinced that our Lord knows their internal attitudes and how
they are going to act: each asks in a concerned way whether he will
prove to be loyal in the time ahead.

24. Jesus is referring to the fact that He will give Himself up freely
to suffering and death.  In so doing He would fulfill the Will of God,
as proclaimed centuries before (cf. Psalm 41:10; Isaiah 53:7).
Although our Lord goes to His death voluntarily, this does not reduce
the seriousness of Judas' treachery.

25. This advance indication that Judas is the traitor is not noticed by
the other Apostles (cf. John 13:26-29).

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Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries".  Biblical text
taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate.  Commentaries
made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of
Navarre, Spain.  Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock,
Co. Dublin, Ireland.  Printed in Hungary.
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