You have to have sympathy for anyone named Judas. When you hear that name you immediately think of the man in today’s Gospel, the one who betrayed Jesus. Judas has become synonymous with “betrayal.”
Every year during Holy Week when we read this Gospel and hear of Judas plotting to betray Jesus, we think how terrible he was in what he did. When you hear Jesus declare that someone who is sharing that meal with him would betray him, we can feel how sad that must have been for Jesus. It does not take much to feel animosity toward the betrayer, Judas Iscariot.
How could anyone who knew Jesus, walk with him, heard him speak, who knew him and his mission, how could they ever betray him? It is easy to point our finger at Judas, but, if we are honest with ourselves isn’t there a little bit of Judas in each of us? Don’t we in different ways, at different times, also betray Jesus? We betray Jesus when we do not live the gift of faith, the gift of life which he has given us. When we do not reach out to others in service and love, we betray Jesus. How often are we like Judas and betray Jesus by how we live, how we treat others, our world, ourselves?
Lent is a time to reflect on our relationship with God. Let this Lenten season be a time for us to reflect on how we are like Judas Iscariot and betray Jesus by what we do, or do not do, with our lives.
Rev. Anthony Burrascano, OSA