March 27, 2024

by Fr. Orlando Cardozo, OP

Today’s Gospel narrative of Matthew 26: 14-26 offers two scenes in which the life of Jesus is in conflict. In the first one, Jesus is celebrating the Passover Meal with his disciples in which they are commemorating the liberation of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. The Passover Meal is a gathering to celebrate friendship, community life, relationships, the sharing of food and drink. The scene with Jesus celebrating the Passover meal with his disciples is an affirmation of the importance of friendship and discipleship.

In the second scene, Matthew describes how there are plots to betray Jesus, “what are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” The betrayal takes place within the context of a meal that signifies freedom and friendship. Matthew describes how betrayal is the opposite of life and discipleship. Judas’s actions go against the freedom and life Jesus offers. In response to Jesus’s offering, Judas chooses death instead of life and freedom. In the end, Matthew shows how Judas’s actions are the disruption of a gathering of friendship, discipleship, and community. While the first scene shows Jesus sharing a meal with his disciples, the second scene displays the disruption of the gathering with Judas’s betrayal of Jesus. Suddenly, the celebration of life and freedom turns into one of imprisonment and death. However, Mathew describes how Jesus is in control of the situation. He knows what is happening and why it must happen.

Please continue reading…

Dominican Traditions During Holy Week