By Chris D’Souza
The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over. (Jn 13:2 NABRE)
Let’s reflect on Judas and his action today.
Why would a close disciple of Jesus want to betray Him? After witnessing so many miracles, hearing so much about the Kingdom of God and spending most of his time with the Master, how could he ever decide to betray Him?
It doesn’t make sense, does it?
Perhaps the answer lies in the expectations of Judas. He expected Jesus to start a political rebellion to overthrow the Roman empire. Had Jesus done that, Judas would have had a very high position. After all, among the disciples he held the treasurer's post.
However, Judas grew puzzled when he saw Jesus praising Mary for pouring out perfume worth a year's salary! Then he remembered Jesus talking about showing the “other cheek.” None of this would have fit into his scheme of thinking.
Yes, Jesus worked miracles. But he showed no desire for earthly power or building up a righteous Messianic empire.
Once Judas realized that Jesus's mission was a bit different from his own expectations, his heart gradually grew bitter and his mind became increasingly disillusioned. Each time Jesus failed to meet Judas' expectations it only made his heart grow harder. From his perspective Jesus failed him on most counts.
When his heart was hardened enough, Satan dangled an irresistible proposal before him. And we know the rest of the story.
Reflect: What is my expectation of following Jesus? Do I expect a comfortable, undisturbed life -- without pain, challenges, battles or scars?
What is my understanding of the Kingdom of God? Do I twist it (like many televangelists do today) to make it a means to satisfy my worldly desires? Do I betray Jesus at my home or workplace by selling out his values for temporary gain? What serves as 30 pieces of silver in my life?
May the lesson of Judas remind us that we have the free will to choose the Endless Hope or a hopeless end!
* You can contact Chris D’Souza at firstname.lastname@example.org.