Wednesday of Holy Week content from Creighton University's Daily Reflections Amy Hoover, Creighton Retreat Center
Every year, no matter how much or little I have embraced the Lenten Season and the practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, I am stopped short when we arrive at Holy Week and specifically, the story of Judas. I am not surprised necessarily that Judas betrayed Jesus because I can relate to that. I have in my own way turned away from God at different times in my life, separating myself from God. What stops me short, is that Jesus knew he was going to be betrayed and that Judas was the one who would betray him, and Jesus still washed Judas’ feet at the gathering for Passover.
I have entered into this story many times, putting myself in the scene mostly as a bystander, sometimes having my feet washed, but never as Judas. I wonder what it was like for Jesus to wash the feet of Judas and for Judas to have his feet washed knowing that he was about to turn his friend and teacher over to the authorities. I wonder if Jesus took extra care when he washed Judas’ feet.
I recently led a retreat on forgiveness. For the retreat, I focused on wisdom gained from Henri Nouwen’s book “The Return of the Prodigal Son” and I also reread the “The Shack” by Wm. Paul Young. I came away with a few reminders. First, God is “especially fond of each of us.” God loves us uniquely and unconditionally, even the Judas’s of the world and even when we are Judas ourselves. Secondly, we are called to do the same. We are called to love each person uniquely and unconditionally, even those who hurt or betray us...