By Renaissance Girl
We have been doing more Lectio during Lent. I find recently, when I hear the scriptures in a service, a word or phrase will stick with me and pop up throughout the day. It’s as though a hundred words have been released like so many butterflies and if I hold still, one or two will land on the outstretched fingers of my mind and I can draw it in for a closer look.
Palm Sunday’s gospel reading was the Passion narrative – and this year was a little different — three cantors chanted the reading, one as narrator, one as Jesus, and the third speaking for the disciples and crowd. I don’t know if it was having the words sung that made a difference, or the fact that I was struggling to turn off my thoughts and really hear the words. And then one word hit me. It was no butterfly, more like an eagle landing with a gust of air. “Friend.”
I couldn’t get it out of my head….after three years of living and suffering with and loving this group of men, after celebrating Passover with them knowing what he was about to do, and after watching one of them turn his back and betray him….he turns to this same disciple, Judas Iscariot, and tells him “Friend, do what you are here to do”. It was like a small firework in my mind that burst into a million sparkles and I couldn’t contain it.
Jesus, the Son of God, could have said or done anything. He could have wiped Judas out with a look. I can’t imagine the sorrow he felt and yet he said, “Friend.” And I thought of how often I approach Jesus with a kiss of betrayal, when I judge someone else, when I outwardly look kind and loving while reserving the right to prefer myself — and I imagined Jesus calling me “Friend” despite it….and it took my breath away.