Looking for a Reason: Irritating Sin

Wednesday of Holy Week

“…and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.”
Matthew 26:16

My 8-year-old woke up on the wrong side of the bed today. I caught him “flicking” his little sister twice before even finishing his breakfast. I didn’t pack the right snack for school. His temper was short. A storm cloud surrounded him. No matter what solutions I offered, he had decided that today was going to be a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day. 

How many of us have fallen into that same trap of deciding that something challenging will be “too much” for us to handle? A Lenten sacrifice, a meatless Monday commitment, recycling, making time for Mass on a hectic weekend. It is all too hard, too costly, too time-sensitive. I have tuned out any mentor’s helpful suggestions to cope with my struggles as well as any guilt nudging my conscience. I am looking for a way out of the hard work of following Jesus. 

Although today’s Gospel recounts the moment where Judas Iscariot makes the arrangement to hand over Jesus, he had probably been mulling over the betrayal for quite some time. Perhaps he was worn down by the pressures of following Jesus or couldn’t face whatever changes he was being challenged to make in his own life. Just as with Judas, oftentimes many moments of doubt or fear led up to the moment of betrayal between each of us and Jesus. 

Whether I intend to or not, I am on the lookout for reasons to betray Jesus. The false spirit has been flicking my arm, pulling at my hair, crowding my side of the backseat in the car. 

Jesus,
I place myself at this table with you, the last supper before the Last Supper. What am I holding back, and hiding from you? 

Tomorrow, help me offer my whole self at your table. Transform my brokenness into something new. 

Published by jencoito

Jen Coito is a California native with diverse experience in parish, academic, and national ministry settings. She has a Masters in Pastoral Theology from Loyola Marymount University. She worked for the California Province of Jesuits for seven years promoting Christian Life Community on university campuses and other diverse ethnic settings. Jen has collaborated on the creation of formation materials, discernment tools, and small group processes that are being used around the country in Vietnamese, Korean, Spanish, and English. In 2013, Jen and Jesuit priest Fr. Tri Dinh co-founded Christus Ministries out of a desire to engage local young adults and form young-adult friendly parishes. Jen works for the Sisters of Notre Dame in California as the Associate Director of Mission Advancement. Jen, Jason, and their three children live in Southern California. You can read more of Jen's writings at www.jencoito.com.

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