The Second Station: The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus

judas-betrays-jesus

Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a crowd with swords and clubs who had come from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders.  His betrayer had arranged a signal with them, saying, “The man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him and lead him away securely.”  He came and immediately went over to him and said, “Rabbi.”  And he kissed him.  At this they laid hands on him and arrested him.  – Mark 14:43-46

The scene in the garden continues to unfold, as hundreds of armed men come to arrest Jesus.  Jesus has been with them daily in the public square and synagogue, they could have taken him at any time.  Yet, here they come in the cover of darkness to conceal their shame and guilt.  Judas, one of the twelve, who has been with Jesus every day for the past three years now betrays him.  Judas one of the trusted few and member of the inner circle with a single kiss sets into action the events that would ultimately lead to Jesus’ death on the cross.

We have all, to some degree, experienced betrayal in our lives.  When we are betrayed or feel betrayed by someone we love (spouse, loved ones, close friends) it is gut wrenching.  This can lead to animosity, broken relationships, and estrangement.  It causes brothers and sisters to not speak, spouses to separate or divorce, and the best of friends to become the worst of enemies.  We become so overcome by what has been done to us that our hearts become like stone and hatred fills us.

But what is Jesus example?  In Luke’s gospel we read that one of his disciples “struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear.  But Jesus said in reply, “Stop, no more of this!” Then he touched the servant’s ear and healed him.” (Luke 22:50-51)  Jesus does not resist, he does not condemn rather he continued to display great love even for those who mean to do him harm.

There will be many times in our lives when we will be rejected or betrayed.  This is especially true if you try to live a Christian life, embracing the teachings of Christ and his Church.  How will you respond?  Will you be like the disciple and draw your sword?  Causing further hurt in an already hurtful situation.  Or will you take Jesus’ example and “love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you?” (Matthew 5:44)

Is there someone you need to forgive for a past betrayal?  Is there someone you have betrayed that you need to seek forgiveness from?  Reach out to these people today, don’t wait it’s been long enough.  With a sincere heart grant mercy and forgiveness to whom it is required.  With humility and a contrite heart ask for forgiveness from those you have hurt.

The First Station: The Agony of Jesus in the Garden of Olives

Jesus prays in the garden Matthew 26:39-40
Jesus prays in the garden Mark 14:32-36

We are called to walk closer with Christ during the Lenten season and what better way than by walking with Christ during His passion and death?  Over the next few weeks leading up to Holy Week we will make this walk together.  I will offer reflections on each station for us to contemplate where we are on our walk with Jesus.  I have chosen to use the Stations of the Cross used by Pope John Paul II on Good Friday 1991.  They are scripturally based and may not be completely familiar to those more accustomed to the traditional form.  I wanted, however, to have these reflections rooted in scripture so that we may reflect on the timelessness of God’s Word and how it applies to us today.  Here then is the First Station.

Then they came to a place named Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.”  He took with him Peter, James, and John, and began to be troubled and distressed.  Then he said to them, “My soul is sorrowful even to death.  Remain here and keep watch.”  He advanced a little and fell to the ground and prayed that if it were possible the hour might pass by him; he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible to you.  Take this cup away from me, but not what I will but what you will.”  – Mark 14:32-36

               How often have we faced difficult, seemingly insurmountable situations?  Tasks or challenges that we had no desire to go through?  Have you lost a job?  Suffered a miscarriage?  Lost a parent or other relative?  Imagine the distress and sorrow Jesus felt, knowing fully what was about to transpire.  Jesus fully human did like any one of us would have and prayed to the Father to “take this cup away” but unlike us Jesus submitted completely to the Fathers will.

How are we at submitting to Gods will?  If you’re like me than often times you take your problems to God and instead of accepting His will we attempt to give Him the answer we want.  We should “Let go and let God” but instead we “Hold on and tell God.”  God’s love for us is immeasurable and like any good father He wants only the best for us.  While we see the present moment and think we know what is best, God see’s the whole picture and really does know.

Jesus example to us in the garden is one of perfect submission to the Father.  You see like us Jesus had free will and could have easily called on a legion of angles to come to his aid.  But Jesus chose to accept God’s will, the first step in his defeating death.  So what is troubling you today?  What sin do you need to overcome?  What relationship needs healing?  Where is God leading you in your life?  Go into your “garden” and ask God to show you his will, then with complete trust follow His direction.  Every day present yourself to Him for as we say at every Mass we should live our lives “through Him, with Him and in Him.”