Tuesday after the First Sunday in Lent
When it was evening, he came with the twelve. And when they had taken their places and were eating, Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.’ They began to be distressed and to say to him one after another, ‘Surely, not I?’ He said to them, ‘It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the bowl with me. For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.’ Mark 14:17-21
One thought I have each Lent is how often the focus is on the “one” who betrayed Jesus. But reading between the lines, every one of the twelve were, in all likelihood, dipping their bread in the bowl as well as Judas, and all of them abandoned Jesus at the end of his earthly life. I find Lent puts the reader into the story, and forces us confront the realities that make us most uncomfortable. When did we see someone arrested unjustly? When did we see someone in trouble and run scared? When did we sell someone out for money? Our actions matter. The practice of being at the Eucharist each week takes on a new immediacy as we realize that we eat and drink with Jesus at least each Sunday, and then betray him throughout the week. This realization is not a guilt trip, but an opportunity to love and serve the Lord and recommit to the radical table fellowship we share, in worship, with one another.
Lord God of our Fathers: God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ: Open our eyes to see your hand at work in the world about us. Deliver us from the presumption of coming to this Table for solace only, and not for strength; for pardon only, and not for renewal. Let the grace of this Holy Communion make us one body, one spirit in Christ, that we may worthily serve the world in his name. Amen.
The Rev. Michael Giansiracusa
Saint Mary’s, Ardmore