My reflection from Give Us This Day today:
I’ve always had a tiny bit of a soft spot for Judas Iscariot. I know. It sounds crazy at best, traitorous at worst, but it’s true. When I hear today’s Gospel and fast-forward in my mind to what I know is coming, I ache a little for what I have to assume was terribly misguided good intention on Judas’s part.
Surely he didn’t want Jesus killed. He thought Jesus would prove himself once and for all. When he finally realizes what he’s done, Judas does something even worse than his betrayal: he doubts God’s mercy. We all know that had he gone to Jesus, even as Jesus hung on the cross, Judas would have been forgiven. But Judas just didn’t really grasp who Jesus was, despite living with him and witnessing miracle upon miracle. Judas was too focused on worldly things and his own agenda.
How many of us fall into the same trap, molding Jesus into someone who fits our own worldview or agenda, and at the same time underestimating the love and mercy that is ours even when we disappoint, betray, injure, and fail?
We all harbor at least a sliver of Judas somewhere deep inside. Jesus lets us make our choices, even bad ones, but opens his arms to offer us forgiveness again and again. Do we, unlike Judas, understand the enormity of God’s mercy?
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