Off the rails

As we move closer to the events of Holy Thursday and Good Friday, a cloud of darkness this way comes. For the past week of so we have been hearing about members of civic and religious leadership plotting to kill Jesus. The dark clouds have been on the horizon for some time. In today’s gospel, a scene from the Last Supper, the betrayal is becoming more public.

Judas had spent years with Jesus, witness to the miracles and the goodness they brought and represented. He had heard Jesus’ call to holiness in his talks and parables. He had shared table fellowship with Jesus. And now he is in the process of betraying Jesus to the authorities. Why? I will leave that speculation to others.

Opposites attract, so they say. And “they” are insightful. We see it all the time in life in couples we know and in so many other ways. And certainly as the events of Holy Week unfold, when Goodness (with a capital “G”) will offer his life for our salvation, Evil (with that capital “E”) also draws near.

For many decades I was deeply involved in RCIA. It was my experience that as the time of their baptism drew near, the cleansing waters of salvation awaiting, life would begin to go off the rails for the Elect, those being initiated into the Church at the Easter Vigil. So many people would describe turns of event which brought doubt, thoughts of “maybe next year” or more subtle lures – business opportunities, requirements, or the call of a relative or friend in need. It has happened too often for me not to think that evil is not attracted to the holiest night of the year.

As the events of the Last Supper unfold, at the institution of the Eucharist, should we be surprised that evil rears up and appears among the disciples?

As our celebration of Holy Week unfolds, plan to celebrate fully and don’t be surprised if things begin to go off the rails a bit. Goodness, supreme Goodness, draws near.

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