First Reading: Is 49:1-6 ; Psalm: 71. R. v.15ab; Gospel: Jn 13:21-33. 36-38
WHEN THE GRACE OF GOD BECKONS
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
Betrayal can be agonizing and traumatic. In extreme cases it can be indelible in the heart of the betrayed. The betrayal of a stranger doesn’t hurt as much as the betrayal of a friend. When betrayed by a friend, it can cut so deeply into us that we feel almost lifeless. In William Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, it was not the stab from Cimber and many others that killed Caesar but the stab from Brutus his dear friend whom he ran to for safety. And he cried out in pain “Et tu, Brute” (even you Brutus). Experiences similar to this can be unforgettable.
Jesus really felt distressed to be betrayed by Judas. He wished it were not Judas. He talked about his betrayal and made allusion to the betrayer. He offered him a morsel dipped in a dish which Judas could also have rejected had he made good use of his free will. Yet none of these changed his mind. He left to betray his master.
The love of Christ constantly compels us (2Cor 5:14) when the urge to sin simmers. God does this through the gift of his grace when we are tempted to sin. He pleads and calls us to himself through that silent soft voice inside us admonishing us not to sin. And he expects us to respond to this voice more readily because we are no more slaves to sin but his sons and daughters through Christ. Whenever we reject that voice of God calling us out from sinful choices, we are not different from Judas who remained unmoved to the invitation and love of God.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, make our hearts more docile to your admonitions. Amen.