prayer for Wednesday in Holy Week

Lord God, whose blessed Son our Savior gave his body to be whipped and his face to be spit upon: Give us grace to accept joyfully the sufferings of the present time, confident of the glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Book of Common Prayer

Wednesday in Holy Week: betrayed

It is hard to live among enemies, sometimes hard to live at all as we know even now from what’s going on in the world. We are to take the way of the cross in loving our enemies, praying for and doing good to them. What is harder is when those who are or were our friends turn on us. When love is somehow violated. And usually for us, it is in seemingly small ways which actually do matter. A large door can be opened with a relatively small hinge. Jesus knew what this was like.

When this happens, if we are the culprit, we need to repent immediately. And if need be not only to God, but to the one who we potentially may have hurt with our words or actions (which can include inaction, such as ignoring). We need to be sensitive so as to avoid this, and pray to God that he will give us a heart of love toward any person who may be difficult for us.

If we are the ones sinned against, then we must forgive immediately. This is not easy. Angry can rise, as well as hurt. We can perceive injustice. And in all of that, even if seemingly small, the act of betrayal. Jesus actually taught that something like the rolling of our eyes in contempt at a brother or sister is a step which can lead to hell (see Dallas Willard:The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life In God. Do we return the fire which comes out of the pit of hell for the fire which may well have come from the same? No, instead we are to forgive. There is no doubt that love violated with reference to a brother or sister in Jesus is much harder than to be hated by those who are enemies in the first place. And we need to pray for the one who has offended us. Perhaps gently confronting when the proper time may come, but always in prayer for them.

After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.”

His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant.One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, “Ask him which one he means.”

Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?”

Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.

So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.” But no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the festival, or to give something to the poor. As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.

When he was gone, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once.

“My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

John 13:21-35