At this point in the story, we know Jesus will be betrayed, and we know the time is near. This is bad enough, but the fact that a disciple will betray Jesus makes it even worse. That Jesus is going to be betrayed in a manner that leads to his death is off-the-charts treacherous.

Yet there’s more. Jesus has to break bread with the man who has agreed to set his death in motion. Can you imagine the restraint this must have required on Jesus’ part?

When I was younger—I’m in my late fifties now—I thought I could handle just about anything as long as I knew what was coming. Whether good or bad, I used to say, just tell me how it looks. Then I’ll know what to do next. Even still, I cannot imagine knowing I have to share a meal with a close companion who will soon help send me to the cross. That would be too much information for me to handle.

Thankfully, most of us won’t be betrayed to such a degree that it leads to our deaths. But I bet many of us bear stories of deception that felt like they might kill us at the time they occurred. I’ve learned that thinking I could manipulate the outcome if I just had enough information is a spiritually immature way of being in the world. Life and God have schooled me otherwise since those early days, and for that I am grateful. It takes a lot of pressure off, not having to be in control all the time. And so, as our faith reminds us, even after the heartache, God remains.

Let me not betray you, O Lord, or those I love. Guide my ways so that I always treat others with honesty, integrity, and compassion. Amen.

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Leer Matthew 21:1-11

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Leccionario Semanal
March 30—April 5, 2020
Resumen de la Escritura

The Liturgy of the Palms readings prepare us for Palm Sunday, when Jesus enters the city of Jerusalem in triumph. The psalmist celebrates the one who comes in the name of the Lord, who is celebrated with palm branches. Matthew then tells the story of Jesus, who enters Jerusalem in this way and is greeted with joy, such that the crowds quote Psalm 118. The Liturgy of the Passion points to the end of that week and the coming suffering of Jesus. Isaiah and the psalmist describe being treated with contempt, beaten, and rejected. In reciting the earliest known Christian hymn, Paul in Philippians emphasizes how Christ surrenders his glory and is subjected to humiliation and death. Matthew recounts the passion of the Messiah, who is rejected as the prophets have foretold.

Preguntas para la reflexión

Read Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29. How has God been steadfast in your life? How do you praise God for this continual presence?
Read Matthew 21:1-11. How would you expect a ruler to enter a city? How is Jesus’ entrance the same? How is it different?
Read Isaiah 50:4-9a. What does being a servant of God look like? How does God help you live as a servant?
Read Philippians 2:5-11. Consider the author’s suggestion that Jesus manifests his divinity by being completely obedient to God. How does this change the way you think about the divine image within you?

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