2. Jesus, betrayed by Judas, is arrested
Continuing to allow God’s gaze to fall on us, we stay still and quiet; if it helps, take more deep slow breaths, up to a maximum of five.
Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
All: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
Quiet moment of asking: “Jesus, as you are arrested and taken away from your friends and companions, let your anguish at this moment deeply touch my heart too”
We listen to the words of the Gospel of Mark; watch the faces and actions of those who arrest Him, watch Judas’s face and then look at Jesus – what is going on in his heart?
And at once, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, came up and with him a number of men armed with clubs, sent by the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. Now the traitor had arranged a signal with them saying, “The one I kiss, he is the man. Arrest him, and see he is well guarded when you lead him away. So when the traitor came, he went up to Jesus at once and said “Rabbi!” and kissed him. The others seized him and arrested him.
NOTICE – A silent contemplation moment
What did you notice about the arrest of Jesus? How did the police who arrested him treat him? Where were his disciples and how did they behave? What feelings did all this spark inside you? Notice, but don’t judge or explain.
Good and gracious God, we realise that we do sometimes betray you in our words and actions in everyday life. We even betray your people, even though they are our brothers and sisters, often just because they are a bit different from us.
We also realise that you allowed yourself to be taken, to be handed over when it would have been possible for you to resist violence with violence. But finally we realise that this would never be your way and so you allowed yourself to be handed over. This must have been a moment of fear as well as sadness for you.
Help us, Lord, to resist and reject violence as a way of dealing with the conflicts that confront us. Help us to value difference in others, not to hate it. Variety and diversity are wonderful parts of God’s creation, in our brothers and sisters as well as in the natural world. But sometimes we need God’s grace to appreciate that. It can be hard for us to let go of our opinions even if we know, deep down, that they are contrary to the Gospel. Help us to hand ourselves over too, if we are called to do so, to become your missionary disciples, for the sake of your kingdom.
Together we pray; Lord, we want to walk beside you in your suffering. Forgive us; and help us to see you in the suffering of the poor.