Thursday, April 01, 2010

Speaking of Judas

Judas has appeared in all the Church readings this past week. In dramatic terms this is because he is the pivotal character in the passion, it is his decision on which all else turns. Even though we know how this story ends we keep hoping Judas will have a change of heart.

It is fascinating to me that at this time pope Ben is being assaulted on all sides by the priest sex scandals throughout Europe. Judas’ are popping up all over (in and outside the church) saying everything from the pope should resign to the pope needs to change his mind on priest celibacy and sexual "freedom", (ho-hum).

Archbishop Timothy Dolan says Pope Benedict XVI, is suffering "some of the same unjust accusations, shouts of the mob, and scourging at the pillar as did Jesus"!

It is important to remember that after the first Judas the other disciples did not say, “We need to change the teaching of the Lord so we won’t have another Judas incident”.

It won’t be said now. And it will not lessen the pain.

The Judas type will be with us always. Salvation history is filled with God’s people falling away and coming back. The “What could it hurt” to the “How were we to know” syndrome.

The difference between Peter and Judas is that Peter asked for forgiveness.

The question, as always, are we going to leave Peter because of Judas?

“But the best example of this unjust historical habit is the most famous of all and the most infamous of all. If there is one proper noun which has become a common noun, if there is one name which has been generalized till it means a thing, it is certainly the name of Judas. We should hesitate perhaps to call it a Christian name, except in the more evasive form of Jude. And even that, as the name of a more faithful apostle, is another illustration of the same injustice; for, by comparison with the other, Jude the faithful might almost be called Jude the obscure. The critic who said, whether innocently or ironically, "What wicked men these early Christians were!" was certainly more successful in innocence than in irony; for he seems to have been innocent or ignorant of the whole idea of the Christian communion. Judas Iscariot was one of the very earliest of all possible early Christians. And the whole point about him was that his hand was in the same dish; the traitor is always a friend, or he could never be a foe. But the point for the moment is merely that the name is known everywhere merely as the name of a traitor. The name of Judas nearly always means Judas Iscariot; it hardly ever means Judas Maccabeus. And if you shout out "Judas" to a politician in the thick of a political tumult, you will have some difficulty in soothing him afterwards, with the assurance that you had merely traced in him something of that splendid zeal and valour which dragged down the tyranny of Antiochus, in the day of the great deliverance of Israel.”

GKC The New Jerusalem

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