Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spy Wednesday

Spy Wednesday. Traditionally, the day Judas Iscariot made the deal to reveal a place Jesus could be arrested. Because of it, Judas' made his very name synonymous with betrayal. What do we know about him?

If you go by artists' depictions, then the other 11 Apostles were a bunch of idiots not to see this coming.

One Lord.
Twelve guys.
Eleven halos.
You do the math.

Other artistic depictions show Judas with a tormented scowl, making us thing he had a perpetual sourpuss face that should have made revealing him as the betrayer pretty simple to deduce.

But it couldn't have been that way.

Even though we know him now as the betrayer, Scripture tells us Judas was amongst the twelve first chosen by Jesus to be Apostles. Maybe they all came from different backgrounds, but there had to have been a zeal present in Judas' eyes and heart, just as much as it existed amongst Peter, Andrew, and the others.
This is what I think of (and have thought of in the past) when I run into brother Priests who are bitter, indifferent, angry, or have reduced their vocation as something they "do" in between their dayS off. You look at them and wonder, "They couldn't have been this way when they started!" Though it's hard to believe in some, every Priest started off on ordination day thinking they could make a difference in the world.
Another thought: Scripture tells us that, when Jesus announced at the Last Supper, "One of you is about to betray me", the Apostles all asked the Lord, "Is it I?" That means a few things to me. First, it means that the 12 were a tight group. None of the Apostles could come up with a "short list" of possible betrayers of Jesus, when pushed to do so. They were so perplexed about the betrayer's identity that they even began to question themselves. Maybe the answer comes from Scripture. John tells us that it was only after Judas accepted the morsel handed to him by Jesus that "Satan entered him". It's one thing to think about sinning; it's another to think about it and then to do it.

So what pushed Judas from thinking to doing? Maybe something as simple as jealousy. For some time the Pharisees and Temple officials have been looking for an opportunity to get to Jesus without a crowd around Him. How many of the Apostles might have been approached and propositioned, asked, "What's your price to turn Him over?" But scripture tells us Judas went to the chief Priests, not the other way around. Maybe Judas seemed unable to turn, even to them, so imagine their surprise when he comes to them. Maybe it was all about, "Why did they approach the other Apostles and not make me an offer?"

Whatever the reasons he turned, however unlikely it seemed to the Apostles, Judas' betrayal is key to setting the Passion in motion. Once the Triduum starts, we get so caught up into it that we get swept away by the current before getting much time to think about the causes. These were just my thoughts this morning, before Wednesday morning Mass.

4 comments:

Justin said...

At some point I saw (perhaps on the History Channel) that one explanation for Judas' betrayal was to coerce Jesus to help overthrow the Romans. I guess Judas thought that if they arrested Jesus, Jesus would lead a revolution.

I don't know what the authority of that thesis is, but it's kind of interesting.

Lisa, sfo said...

Your comments about artistic depictions of Judas in the Last Supper reminded me of something I always find myself doing when I look at a Last Supper image: First thing is to search for Judas. I have to find him before feeling free to look at the piece as a whole ... kind of like playing "Where's Waldo?" Odd, I know, but there ya go! Am I the only one who does that?

Oh, btw, I just finished reading Living Miracles: The Spiritual Sons of John Paul the Great by Randall Meissen, LC -- was that you interviewed in Chapter 7, "Alleluia!"? (I searched your blog to see if you may have mentioned the book but came up empty.) Loved your story and glad you shared! (And if it's not you, I still love the story. :-D )

Victoria said...

reduced their vocation as something they "do" in between their dayS off

Parishioners know when they have a lukewarm priest.

I think that every diocese should have a priestly fraternity - groups of priests who come together to support one another, to pray the Office together and to help and support priests who are under some sort of stress. The priest group which Fr Trigillio heads seems orthodox. Priests shouldn't be left so alone by their father bishop or by brother priests that they self medicate via a bottle or by watching porn on the internet.

Victoria said...

reduced their vocation as something they "do" in between their dayS off

Parishioners know when they have a lukewarm priest.

I think that every diocese should have a priestly fraternity - groups of priests who come together to support one another, to pray the Office together and to help and support priests who are under some sort of stress. The priest group which Fr Trigillio heads seems orthodox. Priests shouldn't be left so alone by their father bishop or by brother priests that they self medicate via a bottle or by watching porn on the internet.