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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wednesday in Holy Week 2012: Throwing Stones

Carl Heinrich Bloch, 1834-1890, PD-OLD

On this day, the reading concerns the agreement that Judas made with the high priests to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.

I wonder if I have done that: betray him.  When Sunday morning comes too early and the bed seems more comfortable than the one hour drive to church?  When the Bible sits unopened on the nightstand?

In Poland, the youth throw an effigy of Judas down from the top of a church building and then drag it through town, stoning it until they reach a nearby body of water where it is drowned.

I am no fan of Judas, but, still, I cannot help but reflect on whether it is easier to throw stones at another, than to recognize betrayal in ones own actions.  Today is a day to reflect, and prepare for the Triduum.


At supper with his friends, Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, "Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me." The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking. One of his disciples-- the one whom Jesus loved-- was reclining next to him; Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. So while reclining next to Jesus, he asked him, "Lord, who is it?" Jesus answered, "It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish." So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot. After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, "Do quickly what you are going to do." Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the common purse, Jesus was telling him, "Buy what we need for the festival"; or, that he should give something to the poor. So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.

When he had gone out, Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once."
~John 13: 21-32 RSV (The Roman Catholic reading today is Matt. 26:14-25)

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  1. Holy goodness - REALLY? I had no idea a practice like that existed in Poland.

    You're right - we're all guilty of betrayal in one way or another... especially in the small details signified by the closed Bible and the comfy bed.

    This is a truly timely reflection. Thank you (though I'll probably have nightmares of the little Polish children violently murdering a fake Judas... eeps).

  2. It is so easy to throw stones. Thank you for this powerful reminder of how easy we can act like Judas.

  3. Michelle, love your site. So blessed I have found you.

  4. I'm certain that I betray Jesus far more than I realize. :-( That's an interesting tradition in Poland; I've not heard of it. You make an excellent point: it's much easier to throw stones than to point at our own betrayals.

  5. Reflecting on this with you, my friend. So much about this week just brings me to my knees.


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