Wednesday, March 27, 2013

“How happy I am to see myself imperfect and be in need of God's mercy.”

Extend your mercy towards others, so that there can be no one in need whom you meet without helping. For what hope is there for us if God should withdraw His Mercy from us? --Saint Vincent de Paul

(Gospel Text: Mt 26:14-25)
One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, 
went to the chief priests and said,
“What are you willing to give me
if I hand him over to you?”
They paid him thirty pieces of silver,
and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread,
the disciples approached Jesus and said,
“Where do you want us to prepare
for you to eat the Passover?”
He said,
“Go into the city to a certain man and tell him,
‘The teacher says, My appointed time draws near; 
in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples.”‘“
The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered,
and prepared the Passover.

When it was evening,
he reclined at table with the Twelve.
And while they were eating, he said, 
“Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”
Deeply distressed at this,
they began to say to him one after another,
“Surely it is not I, Lord?”
He said in reply,
“He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me
is the one who will betray me.
The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him,
but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed.
It would be better for that man if he had never been born.”
Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply,
“Surely it is not I, Rabbi?”
He answered, “You have said so.”

I didn't steal any cookies mommy! Says a little boy whose mother asked him if he was hungry, wiping the chocolate chips smear off of his chin.

Judas asked Jesus, after he had just announced to the apostles that one of them would betray him, "surely it is not I, Rabbi?"  To which Jesus replied, "You have said so."

What would have happened if Judas had repented his sins of betraying the Son of God? What if we, despite our sins, go to the confessional and receive the Divine Mercy of Jesus Christ? 

When Christ gazes at us there can be two very different fundamental reactions: Judas or Peter.  Peter repented.  Judas regretted.  Peter hoped.  Judas despaired. We all know the end of the story, so which one would you rather be like: Judas or Peter?

Many Catholics expect to encounter God in his vengeance and justice when they approach him through a priest in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  That could not be farther from the truth. For those who go to Confession regularly (i.e. once a month), they realize God only wishes to build us up, to make us more holy, and for us to grow closer to him.  Instead of meeting God in his wrath, we will see the arms of Jesus Christ wide open and “behold the Heart which has so loved men".  

May Our Lady, who accompanied Jesus in his Sacred Passion, accompany each of us to the mighty mercy of Jesus Christ, whose face is the face of mercy itself.

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