Daily Office Readings for Friday of Proper 11: Year 2
“He said, ‘I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.’ But they said, ‘What is that to us? See to it yourself’” (Matthew 27: 4)
Judas has betrayed our Lord Jesus. He is sorry he did this. He goes to the religious and spiritual leaders of his community for repentance. There is no compassion to be found, no consolation. He goes off and hangs himself. Poor Judas.
What’s going on here? First of all, the chief priests and the elders were, sadly, co-conspirators in the plan to arrest and kill Jesus. They were co-conspirators with Judas. I ponder about what made him think he could then go back to them for any kind of understanding. However, what really stuns me is their response to Judas. “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” See WHAT to yourself? They are in a hard place. If they acknowledge that Judas was a bad actor, they must own blame themselves. But what they have done is to forsake one of their own people by not helping him find a way to repent. Too bad that John the Baptist is already dead, Judas could have used him.
Christian clergy today must remember, as someone once told me, “it takes sheep to make a shepherd, otherwise, you are just a person with a funny looking stick.” The sheep are the most important part of ministry, no sheep; no ministry. And you don’t have to be officially ordained to be a shepherd. Somebody is watching and learning from you. Lead on.
Addition for today:
We remember Mary Magdalene today. My heart always goes out to Mary Magdalene. From the Gospel according to John: “But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to lookinto the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her’ (John 20: 11 – 18). This is the first Resurrection sermon ever preached. Enough said. Praise Jesus!
“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done” (Genesis 2:1 and 2). So, for this evening and tomorrow day my friends, Shabbat Shalom.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John