Monday of Holy Week
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Judas the Iscariot, one of Jesus disciples, and the one who would betray him, said, “Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages and given to poor?” He said this not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief and held the money bag and used to steal the contributions.
Why does Judas say such awful things to the Lord? I have no doubt Judas was a good man, at the beginning, and that he wished to follow Christ with all his heart. But over time something horribly wrong happened to him, and somewhere, somehow, he lost his faith in the Lord.
Has this happened to me? Has this happened to all of us?
Be careful, for even the Lord’s most loving expressions of affection can seem like pure exaggeration, and be met with suspicion, when one’s mind is orchestrating and the heart is ill.
Every good deed felt like a thorn in Judas’ side and became an occasion for cynicism and open rebellion.
No one is good. No one is that good. No one deserves to be respected. No one deserves my respect.
Why do we think such awful things? Because we have been taught to think such things and to believe in such things.
Why do you say these awful things to me? I know a lot of moms and dads who work tirelessly to keep their teenage children on the straight and narrow path, only to be met with ridicule and scorn by them. They hear horrible things said to them and wonder: “Why do they say these awful things to me? Have I done something wrong?”
I remember working for a man who was very power hungry, anal-retentive, obnoxious, rude, vulgar and downright mean to people in general and to me, specifically. I immediately adapted myself to his style of being and found myself acting like a puppy dog in his presence. Mind you, no one in the office argued with him. No one complained about him. No one criticized him. On the contrary, people showed a great deal of respect towards him. “Yes, sir!” was what I most often heard in his office. Strangely enough, the people who worked the closest to him enjoyed working for him. He made them feel like they owned the place. It was all like a mafia.
Now when I got shipped over to a new department, I found myself before a very kind and humble boss – one of those “team player” type of guys. Unfortunately, I interpreted humility with mental weakness and gentleness with cowardice, and honesty with naiveté. I found myself blowing up at him for the tiniest of reasons. He once asked me, “Why do you say such awful things to me?” My life shattered. I felt like a spell had been broken, a spell that had been put on me by my former boss.
It took a while for me to stop standing on my head and to get my proper bearings.
Are you still struggling?
Judas may have had a better impression of the Lord from a distance than he did close up and personal. I’m convinced he saw the makings of a great king in Christ’s healing powers, but a pauper in His willingness to forgive lepers and sinners. Judas was convinced the Lord had what it took to organize the people, but he was confused as hell as to why the Lord kept antagonizing the country’s greatest leaders!
Stop doing that!
It’s hard to break the spell that has been cast on us. It’s hard to believe there’s a strength that comes from poverty and a beauty that accompanies humility.
Judas snapped before he could change.
When you look at Judas, who do you see? I know I see a bit of myself in him.
We need to change before we snap.