January 17, 2008

One Of You Will Betray Me

I think it's divine law that every dining room in a religious house or rectory has to display an image of the Last Supper. It will probably be a reproduction of Da Vinci's famous rendition, even though it's one his more dubious efforts. For the more cool and modern, it might be Dali's kitschy version with the thoughtful Jesus hiding the Holy Spirit in his surfer hair. Or it might be something else entirely, but it will be there, I assure you.

Ours is a small wood carving on the Da Vinci model, but what's interesting about it is the inscription:
Amen, dico vobis quia unus vestrum me traditurus est.

"Amen, I tell you that one of you will betray me." Of all the quotes from the Last Supper accounts that you might want to remember in the refectory of the friars, this is the one someone chose. I think it's great! It's a good reminder not to think you're great because of your religious life and your ministry and that the people who tell you how holy you must be are your spiritual enemies.

"One of you will betray me." I have no doubt that there are plenty of religious in hell. Or at least I'll say that there are plenty who belong there, though they might have been redeemed by the intense and burning mercy of God.

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