What you learn from the betrayal, denial, and resurrection of Jesus
Judas Betrayed Him, Peter Denied Him & Pilate Executed Him, but on the Third Day, He Was Raised.
We are the people of Easter, and our responsorial psalm is Alleluia! As young people Easter season marks a moment of renewal and growth of our faith and hope in Jesus Christ, the Lord and the Master of our lives! What, then must we do to live up to our call during this joyful season faithfully? We must answer this question personally, deep down in our hearts, for we should never forget that faith must be professed individually before we go forth into communion with other believers-which is very imperative for the unity and primary mission of the Church in matters of evangelization.
Looking back, we must realize that before the joyful Easter, Jesus went through an excruciating sorrowful moment leading up to His death, which was preceded by betrayal and denial by His very own Apostles named Judas and Peter, respectively. As if it was not enough, it was then made fatal by Pilate’s execution order after giving in to the jealousy and fear-based pressure coming from the pharisaic elders, the chief priests, and the high priest of the day. Jesus had lost his close friends, whom He journeyed with for three years formation period, who ran away from Him during His time of persecution-what kind of friends are we to Jesus? Friends only: during the changing of water into wine or the multiplication of bread and fish or only friends while putting your nets into the right side of the fishing boat? Think about that, genuinely.
Thanks to the presence of His beloved Mother Mary, our Mother too, and the disciple whom He loved, who, even though they couldn’t do anything to save Him from the hands of His persecutors, accompanied Him until He breathed last-an embarrassing death on the cross that saved us from the yoke of sin and death. Grateful must we always be, for Jesus, through His life, suffering, death, and resurrection, reconciled us back to the love of the eternal Father who had resurrected Him by the power of the Holy Spirit, the same power that indwells us since baptism and confirmation. And how blessed are we whenever we frequent the sacraments, especially that of confession and of Eucharist, for we get the renewal of this power of the Holy Spirit in us, the power that enables us to have an abundant life and thus carry out our corporal and spiritual duties with zeal and order for the greater glory of God and for the salvation of our souls?
In life, as youth, we go through moments of difficulties as we put efforts to love and serve our parents or guardians, siblings, patrons and matrons, fellow youth, society, etc. When we suffer rejections, betrayals, denials, and persecutions from our loved ones, colleagues or even strangers down the streets of life, let us know that we have a good friend named Jesus Christ who will never ever forsake us or run away from our challenges but rather will accompany and console us with His saving grace. Where is He found? One may ask! Jesus Christ is especially found in the sacred scriptures, in our catholic priests, in the communion of Christian believers, and, in a very unique and mysterious way, in the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist. Let us strive to seek Him in the aforementioned four places, and in the process, we shall [re]discover that He is the one who will find us first in the dark way of the cross[es] and enlighten us with the joyful light of Easter by breathing in us hope and joy, health and peace, work /job and prosperity, marriage and religious calling-He is truly Immanuel in our lives.
Moreover, what Jesus went through and what we painfully go through is unmatched. Thus, He fully understands our ‘little pains and sufferings that we encounter in life, and He is ready and willing to help and heals us the same way He healed the 10 lepers and opened the blind eyes of Bartimaeus. Let us invite Him in our challenges and forever draw our strength from His sure promise of Him being with us until the end of time. After three days of a death, God will always raise us up again. Nothing in the whole world, neither sufferings, sins, nor death, can overcome the power of resurrection that we inherited from Jesus Christ in our baptism.
My dear brothers and sisters, we don’t leave Jesus because of Judas; we follow him to the end like His Mother Mary and the apostle whom He loved. This apostle, John, represents all of us, meaning that Jesus loves us and is also ready to welcome us back as He did to Peter, who had publically denied Him. Fortunately, Peter saw his sins, humbled himself, repented, and later on publically confessed, three times, his love for Jesus, and then Jesus entrusted him with the leadership of the Apostles and the early Church. And it is these apostles who became the pillars of our great Faith. Courageously, let us promote and defend our Faith whenever we are, without fear or shame.
I sincerely submit to ourselves that may we need not be like Judas, who did not repent his sins of betraying Jesus; for we act the same way whenever we doubt or refuse or even procrastinate from going for confession. If we are going to be the light and the salt in the world, Easter must always be lived by revolving and centering our lives and youthhood in the sacraments, and the climax being that of Eucharist. Be a symbol of hope to other young people in the Church and in society and let them know that our bottom-line is: After every Good Friday, there is Easter Sunday!
St. Pope John Paul II, Our Patron Saint, Pray for us so that We may be made Worthy of the Promises of Our Lord of Jesus Christ, in Time and in Eternity. Amen!
Conflict Prevention & Management Facilitator
Quo Vadis Youth Hub
Catholic Archdiocese of Nyeri
17th of April, AD 2023.
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