“But there are some of you who do not believe.” Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him. And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.”As a result of this, many [of] his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.” John 6:64-66
It is said that Judas stopped believing in Jesus during the Bread of Life discourse. A lot of disciples stopped believing then. It is interesting to note that it is John 6:66 that states “as a result many of his disciples returned to their former way of living.” It is this betrayal and rejection of Christ, that is later marked with those same numbers in the Book of Revelation, written by the same author, as the mark of the Beast. What is interesting to note is that the chapter and verse numbers weren’t added to the bible until the 16th century. As if God knew what would mark us with the Beast, the betrayal and rejection of the Eucharistic Lord.
And so here were are over two centuries later and betrayal has entered into the Church through the sins of our leaders and Shepherds. I have to ask, did they ever believe in the Eucharistic Lord? How could they possibly have believed and done what they did? It is betraying Jesus with their fake kiss as they led souls on the path to destruction. Marked by the Beast.
“The thief comes only in order to steal, kill and destroy; I have come so that they may have life, life in its fullest measure.” John 10:10
Note that the worst thing that can happen is not stealing and killing. The worst thing is destruction. The devil set his sights on the Priesthood long ago. He set out to destroy it. He started with one of the twelve. He continues today. The destruction of the Priesthood means that we cannot receive the Eucharistic Lord. The Bread of Life. The devil wants nothing more than for you to walk away. The mark of the beast.
But like Peter, I say, “Lord, to whom shall we go, you have the words of eternal life.” John 6:68. I cannot leave Him.
But I find myself in this place of mistrust. Knowing the betrayal. And I didn’t know what to do. I feel it will only get worse as more Dioceses get investigated, and we will experience sting after sting of betrayal. Knowing there are good Priests, but not knowing who to trust. Accusations will fly, are they true? Have we been deceived? How will we know what to do?
It was here that the Lord spoke to me. BE NOT AFRAID.
Jesus is who we are called to be like. Jesus was willing, in order to do the will of the Father, to be betrayed. Betrayed by Judas, denied by Peter, left by all but one. Judas’ betrayal didn’t just affect Jesus. It affected all of them and everything they believed. They were scared and shaken to the core. All they had hoped and worked for in their minds was destroyed. And they all chose a path. Only one Apostle stood trusting the plan of God. We have the same choice.
Then Jesus said to them, “This night all of you will have your faith in me shaken, for it is written:‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be dispersed’. Matthew 26:31
We have to ask ourselves, will we be the one, to stand at the foot of the cross?
Christ looked Judas straight in the eye. He knew he would be betrayed. Yet still walked the Passion when He could have stopped it. Christ wore that betrayal on the cross as a cloak of forgiveness, thereby extending mercy to all of us. His forgiveness brings the Kingdom of God. This path, though horrible and scandalous, brought Resurrection. Can we walk this Passion and stand with John?
John was not alone. Mary was with Him. And he took her into his home. Resurrection came, even for those who hid. And she was with them when the Spirit descended. She is our Mother. We must look to her and place ourselves under her protection. It is for this reason, for this time specifically, that our great Saints had forged Marian devotion. From Saint Louis de Montfort, to Saint Maximilian Kolbe, to Saint John Paul the Great, they knew who would help us stand at the Passion of the Church. It is why Consecration to Jesus through Mary was given to us.
Last night, my daughter was extremely ill. She was vomiting and the works. Everywhere. I was up all night. I noticed when she was sick, she cried out for me. I could not stop her throwing up, but I held her hair back, and hugged her small body. I noticed she couldn’t sleep unless my arms were around her. I, as the mother, just had to watch whatever virus had poisoned her system come out. I couldn’t stop it, but I could stand with her, love her, and somehow, just by my presence, I gave respite to her so she could sleep. The love of a mother can get you through the darkest of times. If you haven’t already, consecrated yourself to Mary. She will be our guide in the days ahead. She will teach you to forgive like her Son did when you are betrayed. She will also point out to you who the Good Shepherds are. Trust that if you can’t trust anything else, trust that.
God must have something different pictured for our Church than what we are doing right now. And one thing I know about God, His dreams for us are bigger than our own.
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.