Wednesday of Holy Week
(Click here for readings)
One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” They paid him thirty pieces of silver, and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.
Selling the Lord for cheap. One of my favorite television programs is called “Forensic Files.” It’s my favorite because I love science (when it is applied for good purposes) and the drama of human existence.
I find it fascinating how crimes are solved through forensic science and trace evidence. But what I really find interesting is the reason – the motif – behind the crimes. It amazes me how somebody would kill another human being just for money – as little as twenty-thousand dollars –, or a piece of jewelry – like a ring or a necklace –, or just for the thrill of it.
With all that I have seen, I’m still shocked by the fact that Judas betrayed Christ for thirty pieces of silver. What in the world was he thinking? But is this all the evidence we have? Not really. As we will see in the coming days, there’s more to this crime than meets the eye.
A little bit of Judas in all of us. All of us have had our moments when we let our thoughts run wild: when we imagined personal greatness or doing something really amazing – even heroic – for the world that put us on the front cover of some famous magazine. Now what typically stopped us dead in our thoughts were the odds against any of these things actually happening. After all, most of us are in no position to make such a huge impact in the world. At least this is how it is in the case for goodness. But when it comes to evil, all bets are off.
I would imagine that most of us have had our moments when we let our evil thoughts run wild and imagined doing something awful to someone else. This is not something difficult to think about or do. Anyone can think it. Anyone can do it. Apparently, evil thoughts and evil men have an easier way of penetrating the world and leaving their mark on our memories and on the whole world.
Judas was in the right place at the right time to leave such a mark.
What motivated him to do it? The same things that occasionally motivate us: ambition, pride, vanity and sensuality.
Never say never. Like most of us, Judas wanted to be heard. He wanted to be respected. He wanted his opinions to be accepted. He wanted to move up in the ranks and be acknowledged before others; especially Jesus, Peter, James and John.
Judas was a wanna be, just like me. And since he couldn’t take center stage, he ended up exiting stage left. He sold the Lord out for silver.
I can honestly relate to Judas. And this is a very important lesson for me.
We all have a little bit of Judas in us.
So what’s my price? What am I willing to exchange the Lord for?
If we want to defeat the dark angels within us, then we need to know what they are thinking…and thinking all the time.
Surely it isn’t I, Lord? Instead of feeling safe and snug around Jesus, the Apostles should have been terrified and humbled around Him; asking, with trembling voices, “Is it I, Lord?” (0)
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