In the traditional Stations of the Cross – I say traditional because there is now a new version of the Stations of the Cross the First Station is when Pilate condemns Jesus to death. In our sorrowful mystery of the holy rosary, we begin the sorrowful mystery by saying, “The first sorrowful mystery is the Agony in the Garden.”
Actually, this is a misconception because the start of the passion, of the suffering of the Lord was not when he faced Pilate or when he agonized in the garden. The start of the passion of the Lord actually began with the last supper.
Why? There was no nailing, no scourging, no crowning with thorns during this event. Yes, there was none of the physical tortures, but there certainly was psychological anguish which the Lord was going through. And this was actually more serious, more painful, more fatal than the physical pains that he had to endure when the Stations of the Cross began.
Why? Because the psychological anguish of your own friend betraying you is even more serious and more painful than the pains that your enemies inflict on you.
It is understandable to have your enemies hurt you. But the abandonment, the rejection, the betrayal of a trusted friend hurts more.
There was no physical pain inflicted but I am sure the Lord suffered so much anguish when He heard the footsteps of Judas moving out from the table. It must have been very painful for the Lord to hear the door slam because Judas was in a hurry to finish the supper. It must have been very painful for Jesus when He gave the honor to Judas.
There were twelve disciples; each of the twelve was expecting that that portion of bread be given him because that was the sign of special affection.
It was given to Judas. Not to Peter, not to John, not to anyone, but to Judas. It was a sign of special concern, special affection. And yet that special affection was rejected
We can identify the pains of the Lord with our own pains. Most of us may not suffer materially but the comfort that money can bring is nothing once we know the pain and anguish of being betrayed by a friend.
If you lack money, all you need is money and your problem is solved. But if your pain is psychological, and you’re suffering from loneliness, from the indifference of a loved one, it cannot be relieved by something which you can buy at Robinson’s. It can only be solved by even more love.
Such was the pain of the Lord. And such probably is our pain. Talk to Jesus and tell Him, “Lord, I know how much pain you suffered when you heard the footsteps of Judas as he turned away from you. Lord, I know how much pain you suffered when you heard the door slam behind Judas because he was in a hurry to betray You. Lord you know the pain, the anguish of offering the place of honor to somebody who will betray You. I suffer the same pain. I am continually betrayed, I am abandoned, I am forgotten, I am neglected. Lord, help me see my pain in Your pain. Help me see my anguish in Your anguish. Help me see the meaning of what I am carrying in Your own suffering.”
Only Jesus, Always Jesus