Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
In his homily today, Father Joseph Mary of EWTN noted that at Christ’s last supper only Judas the betrayer addresses Jesus as “Rabbi” — Teacher. The other apostles address Jesus as Lord.
It’s an amazing moment. Was Judas the Iscariot not with them in the boat when Christ calmed the storm and walked on water? How many miraculous healings, exorcisms, and resuscitations did Judas witness?
This is not a case of, “Who are you going to believe? Me or your lying eyes?” Judas willfully returned to disbelief after witnessing the proof again and again that Christ governs Creation. To forget Christ’s identity was to reject his own experiences, his own life. Judas imagined some satisfaction apart from truth and grasped desperately at that easier fiction.
This is a story not just of Christ but of human nature. In this, we recognize the will as master over reason, rather than its subject. A person is not a mere consequence of experience. There are choices until the very end.
We are meant to see ourselves in both Peter and Judas the Iscariot. Both betray Jesus, though Peter’s surrender to fear is perhaps of a milder nature than the obstinance and resentment of Judas.
Peter denies Jesus as his Lord and his friend three times. But he admits that fault, repents, and renews his devotion to Christ. He acknowledges his need of Christ’s forgiveness and His sacrifice. Peter begs for truth, love, and beauty while admitting he is not owed such wonderful gifts.
Judas does not return to Jesus after his betrayal. He flees, hiding his shame, and hangs himself — perhaps in self-condemnation, or perhaps in desperation to escape the graceless depravity he had embraced. Judas does not seek forgiveness. He does not proclaim Christ as Lord and himself a sinner. Jesus says “it would have been better for that man if he had never been born.”
Sometimes the hardest thing is to start the way back home. We must look at God in the eyes and ask to be forgiven. We must accept truth and love as a choice, not an inevitability.
There will be moments in life when you witness the impossible or the ineffable. Distant memories are easy to doubt. Resolve to believe for evermore what you know when revelation comes. From life, persistent willful faith must carry us ever forward; lest dim memories lead back into the darkness from which we once were saved.Published in