There is no human experience more devastating and painful than betrayal by a loved one. Betrayal feels like death and even more painful than death because death itself is a natural phenomenon outside our control. Betrayal pierces the very foundation of human relationship: Trust! And since we find ourselves in and through relationships, betrayal completely pulls the carpet under the feet of the betrayed and sets the betrayed in a totally new but confused world where nothing is sure anymore. In that intense moment, it feels like darkness has fallen upon the soul of the betrayed and one walks on a lonely road completely devoid of light, life or hope!

In truth, every experience of betrayal is an attempt of darkness trying to put out the light in the soul. That is why it feels like death, a total confusion because the guiding light in the soul, animated by love and communion, is all of a sudden invaded by an overpowering darkness. In this darkness, the light in the soul struggles to withstand the assault. To the extent the light can withstand the invading darkness will be the extent the betrayed can live through the betrayal. But if the darkness overpowers the light, the betrayed simply surrenders her life to the dark forces of betrayal. At this point, life in the world becomes meaningless and an interminable stretch of loneliness and lifelessness.

If we look beyond the event of betrayal and see the struggle between light and darkness, then it makes sense that we mobilize all the forces of light and hope within our soul to counteract the life-eating force of darkness unleashed by betrayal. This is how Jesus dealt with this whole scheme of betrayal and skewed justice system that fought against the pure light of His soul. The events of this Holy Week, starting from Palm Sunday, clearly show, step by step, how unrelenting the forces of darkness, operating through the corrupt desires and greed of the human heart, can be. But at each turn in this grand scheme of dark minds and hearts, Jesus focused His attention on the Father, the LIGHT Himself, so that the noisy and incoherent voices of darkness could not even affect the brightness of the light in Him. He is THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD, after all, and so darkness has no power over him. But this does not mean that he is spared the experience of the brutal assault of betrayal.

May we, during this Holy Week, focus our attention on Jesus and through conscious acts of forgiveness of all the hurts and betrayals we have experienced or inflicted on others, gain the strength to keep alive the light of God in our soul. Amen.

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord Jesus forgave you.” Colossians 3:13