Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Matthew (26: 14-25) in which Judas Iscariot is offered thirty pieces of silver by the chief priests to betray Jesus.   Fr Paul says this Gospel commemorates the first part of the Last Supper – the preparation and the betrayal.  Fr Paul notes, the strange pre-planned sequence of Jesus sending his disciples to encounter a seemingly random stranger in the city occurs for both Jesus’ solemn donkey-ride into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, and for the preparation of a room for the Last Supper. These are evidence both of Jesus’ foreknowledge and of God’s own pre-planning: it was pre-destined that these events should take place as they did. The events of Jesus’ life, but especially those of his Passion, Death and Resurrection, were the culmination of God’s plan, expressed from ages earlier in the scriptures. The way this is shown is by relating every detail of the happenings to the scriptures. So, in the earliest tradition, quoted by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15.3-5, Christ died and rose again, both ‘according to the scriptures’. And again, according to the scriptures, the thirty pieces of silver paid for the betrayal of Jesus is also mentioned in Exodus 21:32. Why did Judas betray his Master? Was it simply for thirty pieces of silver? Was it was because Judas a convinced nationalist fighter, who abandoned Jesus in frustration when he perceived that Jesus was not a political liberator who would expel the Romans? We will never know.For us today, Fr Paul says, today’s Gospel Lesson: The Last supper is prepared….