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Wednesday of Holy Week

Scriptural Readings: Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 69:8-10, 21-22, 31+33-34; Matthew 26:14-25

My dear encountered couples:

We are in Holy Week, when we meditate on the final journey of Jesus to his Passion. During this particular Holy Week, while we maintain physical distancing during the pandemic, we are unable to physically meet together in church . . . but let’s remain aware of each other, and pray for each other at the foot of the cross.

Both yesterday and today the gospel dwells on the betraying of Jesus by Judas. It was not going to be any surprise to Jesus when Judas would show up with the soldiers while he was at prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. And yet, Jesus was not going to stop him. He gave him total freedom to make his own decisions.

God leaves us free to conduct our lives. There are certain limitations to our abilities, but free will, a gift of God to us, is honored not only in this life but throughout eternity. The devils have free will. It was never taken from them. The good angels and saints have free will. It will never be taken from them. You are able to make your own choices here and in the hereafter.

We form our own characters, we become molded by the choices we make. From the first moment we are old enough to begin choosing, that is when we start being responsible for ourselves and our formation. Others may influence us in varying degrees, but that which we really become is the result of our own, personal choices. Judas cannot blame what he did on anyone else. We cannot point the finger of accusation towards others for what we do.

God is always helping us to make the choices that are best for us. He guides us as a child is guided when learning how to walk. He never leaves us alone. We sometimes leave him alone. God is always with you. You are not necessarily always with him. But God does not force our choice. We can reject his guidance, we can do what we want.

God was with the Jewish leaders at all times. In their Sacred Scriptures, in their daily lives, he was guiding and teaching them. God was always with Judas doing the same. In eternity this will be made clear for all to see. They cannot blame their deeds on anyone but themselves.

All of us must learn to take full responsibility for our own decisions and actions. You and I do the choosing. We want the praise when we choose the right thing. Should we not be accountable when we choose the wrong?

Hopefully, all the advantages of this Lenten season, soon to come to a climax, have been profitable for us. All the online Masses (because of the global pandemic), prayers, thoughts, and devotions should help us to make wise choices. I hope we are growing and will continue to grow. May our existence give God the greatest satisfaction. Let it never be said of you, as Jesus said of Jesus, “Better for him if he had never been born.”

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