Betrayal-Only a friend can betray a friend

'Conscience' by Nikolai Nikolaevich 
As we journey on this Holy Week, the readings today contain a richness of which we often just scratch the surface. Today we see Jesus predict the betrayal which will cost Him his life. Often in a relationship, the betrayal is so shocking because we don't expect it, we didn't see the signs. Yet Jesus knew exactly who would betray but yet He continued to love Judas. He loved Judas even when Judas was enshrouded by darkness. “The light shines in the darkness” (John 1:5). The other disciples would betray Him in other ways but Judas could not turn back and accept the merciful love that would forgive even this most deceitful betrayal.
Each one of us at some stage of our lives have had our trust broken. Often it is not easy to bounce back as we fear that a new relationship or friendship will end up the same way as soon as we let down our guard. As we journey through life we seek people to trust and who support us. We are called to do the same. If we think back to the play Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare we can see the brutality of a friendship betrayed. In the famous scene where the senators stabbed Caesar to death, the final and most unkind cut came from his friend. “Et tu, Brute?” said Caesar. “Then fall, Caesar!” The last blow from his closest confidante brought his death. As the Michael Card song "Why" goes, 'only a friend can betray a friend, a stranger has nothing to gain.' How true are these words"

During this Holy Week, it might be good to take some time to see how at times we can 'betray' others by our words or actions. Into that place we ask for God's gracious mercy and if we can approach the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Or maybe the Lord is calling us to forgive someone who has betrayed us and hurt us badly. All these are ways of preparing for our Resurrection on Easter Sunday where we can break forth from all that holds us captive in the cocoon of death.
In the meanwhile I'd like to share another Michael Card song which is very fitting for today's readings:

Why?
Why did it have to be a friend
Who chose to betray the Lord
Why did he use a kiss to show them
That's not what a kiss is for
Only a friend can betray a friend
A stranger has nothing to gain
And only a friend comes close enough
To ever cause so much pain
And why did there have to be thorny
Crown pressed upon His head
It should have been the royal one
Made of jewels and gold instead
It had to be a crown of thorns
Because in this life that we live
For all who seek to love
A thorn is all the world has to give
And why did it have to be
A heavy cross He was made to bare
And why did they nail His feet and hands
His love would have held Him there
It was a cross for on a cross
A thief was supposed to pay
And Jesus had come into the world
To steal every heart away
Yes, Jesus had come into the world
To steal every heart away

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