"Satan entered his heart." —John 13:27
We all experience the same temptation as Esau: to sell our birthright for something material (Gn 25:33). In our case, our birthright is not a thing but the Person of Jesus Christ. Judas sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver (Mt 26:15). Peter sold out Jesus to avoid suffering.
Selling and selling out are basically the same thing. Judas was not necessarily more sinful than Peter or us. Like Judas, we sell Jesus to make more money. We work overtime although it hurts our families. We work unnecessarily on Sunday. We take a job the Lord has not called us to, so we can make more money. When we sell out Jesus, we receive not money but other "benefits." By not standing up for Jesus, we keep our popularity and friends. We sell out Jesus by giving Him the "silent treatment" to protect ourselves from persecution.
We still are "crucifying the Son of God" and "holding Him up to contempt" (Heb 6:6). Judas and Peter continue their betrayals and denials in our selfish greed and fear. Our silence is often not "golden" but deadly. Both Judas and the pre-Pentecost Peter are inside each of us. We must reject them or we will reject Jesus. He warns us: "I tell you solemnly, one of you will betray Me" (Jn 13:21). "I tell you truly, the cock will not crow before you have three times disowned Me" (Jn 13:38).
Prayer: Jesus, there were only a handful of people who remained faithful to You and stayed at the foot of the cross. May I die rather than deny You.
Promise: "Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength, yet my reward is with the Lord." —Is 49:4
Praise: Praise Jesus, Who turns all things to the good (Rm 8:28).
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape, Shame, on audio AV 54-3 or video V-54.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Giles H. Pater, August 18 8, 2004
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 23, 2004