Continuing our look at Jesus’ humanity, we see in today’s Gospel Jesus revealing to the Apostles that one of them will betray Him. A friend, a follower, not only walks away, but is the mechanism that enables Jesus’ enemies to capture Him. Someone who Jesus walked and talked with, someone he had taught for three years, they ate and laughed together; Judas turned his back on Him and wanted to be with him no more. How this must pierce Jesus’ heart? The ache inside, the need to cry, the tightness in His throat… how this betrayal must have hurt Him.

We can look on this and say it was a necessary evil. It had to happen. Judas made a mistake. He thought he was doing something that would eventually advance the cause of Jesus. But, we really cannot explain it away, nor, should we. If we explain this away, then we will explain away our own failings, our own betrayals, our own “necessary evils”.

This is, however, one more time that Jesus shows us how we are to deal with the trials of our day. He could have thrown up his hands and shouted, “This is useless”, “Nobody seems to care”, “The heck with him”. But no, all He says is, “What you have to do, do quickly”. No verbal assault. No recriminations. No judgment. He sees the weakness, He understands the weakness, and yet He loves. In spite of the human hurt that must have been felt, He loves.

Each one of us has played the role of Judas at some point in our lives. It may not have been as drastic, or maybe it was, but the point is that our lives are full of hills and valleys. We valiantly strive towards our God and then again, we flee Him. Through all of this, He loves us, He understands. He patiently waits for us to return to Him.

We, all of us, every person that we know and meet have turned our collective back on Jesus. We do this time and time again…and we don’t even realize it. “Yes, I know I have sinned, but look at THAT person…” We just did it again! We turned our back on Jesus. We sit smugly, with moral superiority, judging others, while refusing to look within, at ourselves. In that judgment, we are saying we really aren’t that bad, at least not as bad as that person. If that is the case, then there must be levels of redemption.  Some need it more than others? Are we not saying too, that we don’t need Jesus, as much as other people do? We don’t need salvation, redemption as much as others? The other person does, but we don’t.

This obviously, is false, but our actions, how we live our lives, how we treat others seems to point in that direction. Each time a son or a daughter, a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, a neighbor, a co-worker, a person that we see on the street, each time we make a judgment on any one of these, we deny them the love of Jesus. We deny that Jesus’ way of life is anything but a pipe dream. Once again, we betray Jesus.

Advertisements