Wednesday of Holy Week
I have often thought about why Judas betrayed Jesus? The scholars have different opinions. However the real reason can be revealed only by God as Judas is no more. Instead of thinking about why he betrayed Jesus, why don’t we think about what we can learn from it?
Judas traveled and lived with Jesus for three years. He was a firsthand eye-witness to all the teachings, miracles and wonders that Jesus worked during His public ministry. Yet all of it did not suffice to transform Judas and keep him away from the lust for money because he lacked personal commitment towards Jesus. It means to say that no matter how many years you have been a Catholic/Christian, it will not keep you from falling into sin, including grave ones. The years do not count, what matters is your personal commitment to Jesus Christ.
Any betrayal in itself is a very painful thing. Furthermore to betray a friend or someone who trusts in you is the highest degree of betrayal. Jesus called Judas His friend and gave him a privileged place as an Apostle. Jesus would even entrust him with the common purse. Despite all of this, Judas chose to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver with a symbol of love – a kiss. Painful as it may sound, we stand no different from Judas. Jesus has called us also His friends. ‘There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for a friend,’ said Jesus (Jn 15:13) and proved His love for us on Calvary. Besides that He trusts in us and has entrusted the proclamation of the Gospel and the work of salvation into our hands. Having known all of these, what we do is nothing different from what Judas did centuries ago.
Having betrayed Jesus, Judas realized that he had committed a grave mistake. But then he committed another mistake by approaching the chief priests instead of running back to Jesus. At times when we realize our mistakes in life, we could also be doing the same. We may be running to shrines, prayerful persons and even to magicians in order set things right in our life. But what we need to do is to run to Jesus. Today this could be done in the sacrament of Reconciliation (confession) wherein we receive the unconditional pardon of the Lord. The Holy Week presents a wonderful opportunity for the same.