We commemorate the betrayal of Judas today. The earthly life of Jesus is ending. He has done many miracles, he healed many, raised many from the dead, he taught and he preached the Gospel. Yet, Jesus knows he will be betrayed and he will die. This echos what the First Reading tells us: I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely my cause is with the Lord, and my reward with my God. When we look at the earthly life of Jesus, it does look like he did all these things for nothing. The clamor of the people are gone and will be changed to a clamor for his death.
But in all these, Jesus still trusts in his Father who says in the First Reading: it is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the survivors of Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.
Things are not what they seem. What we may call failure, is God’s way of bringing his will to fulfillment. The death of Jesus shines his light to the nations so God’s salvation reaches to the ends of the earth. What seemed like a failure in the life of Jesus, God transforms it to something good.
This is applicable in our situation today. We may have lost many things we had before the pandemic. We may have been affected by it in a profound way. We may be overwhelmed. And we may look at what happened last year and still continue to happen, and say, all we did are in vain. All is lost.
From a human perspective, that may be so. But that may not be God’s perspective. In the Gospel, when Judas went out to betray him, Jesus said Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. Our moment of defeat, is our moment of glory, because God uses it for his glory.
The betrayal of Judas led to the arrest and eventual death of Jesus. The death of Jesus opened heaven to us. The shedding of his Blood cleansed us of our sins. While things may seem dark for us, when we trust Jesus, these dark things lead to God’s glory and us with it. Jesus said I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, “Where I am going, you cannot come.” During these times, God may seem absent. Things may be dark around us. But it is during these times, that we look forward to glory, because suffering is the veil that covers the glory God has in store for us.
Our efforts may not have come to anything. But we know this is God’s way of teaching us to let him take the lead and we respond to him. When things are dark, it is time for us to let go and let Jesus take charge. Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth. God is in the midst of the darkness and he will lead us through.
Lord, you are my hope, my trust, from my youth. On you I have leaned from my birth. Be a rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. In this darkness Lord, let me trust you because I know behind this veil is the glory you have in store for me.