Judas Days

It’s not just Spy Wednesday, but a whole half-week of Judas dogging the
Lord at daily Mass. Yesterday’s complaint on Mary of Bethany netted this commentary from John:

He said this not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief and held the money bag. (Jn 12:6)

Money and sex are the great sins of pastors, and perhaps not denial so much (see Peter), so the former is where some pundits nail the one whose hand is on the table.

Today John reminds us again that Judas was the treasurer for the disciples, and all the money they netted from women supporters. The evangelist spreads the blame around:

After Judas took the morsel, Satan entered him. (Jn 13:27a)

Does this involve a willingness to lay one’s life open for the wrong cause? Was Judas aware? Fully at fault? I prefer to think of taking ownership of one’s sins and not blaming somebody else. Parents, devils, feminists, the oppressive nanny state: excuses all.

Did Judas have some sense of another when he asked:

What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you. (Mt 26:15)

It’s an early Christian tape playing in my head that the sin of Judas was not betrayal as such, but his denial there was any hope for him afterward. Peter also betrayed the Lord, especially after he promised courage and loyalty. But Peter returned.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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One Response to Judas Days

  1. Liam says:

    When reading the so-called Book of Signs chapters of the Gospel of John, one cannot help but be struck by how it is regularly seething with threats of treachery to Jesus on the part of competing religious authorities. It’s the most agonistic of the Gospels in that regard. It’s had different fruits in the Christian tradition, not all of them wonderful (for example: it proved to be a pretext for anti-Jewish polemic that eventually begat downright evil fruits in turn; it also fed into Christian monastic internalization of struggle into heroically agonistic ascetism in ways that can offer a refuge for egoism and grandiosity).

    None of which is to say that the conflicts depicted in the Gospel are a mere literary device that we can comfortably elide. By the time one reaches middle age, one should have ample experience to accept the reality that conflicts of many kinds are omnipresent by human nature. What the Gospel of John depicts is a Jesus who forthrightly confronts and transcends them, and not at all without pain or suffering. For his disciples, that is the model and pattern of theosis.

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