Betrayal

“What will you give me if I betray him to you?” In today’s Gospel, Judas asks this question to the high priest, as to how much the Sanhedrin were willing to pay for Christ’s betrayal by one of his apostles. At times we are also tempted to leave the faith, perhaps we no longer see it as attractive, fashionable even. Well for one thing the Catholic faith is not designed to be attractive, one has to accept it as it is. Some follow only with ‘conditions’. Jesus, however, wants complete loyalty with no conditions. Total dedication, not halfhearted commitment. We can’t pick and choose among Jesus’ ideas and follow him selectively. Jesus did not appoint us to be editors who select the portions of Jesus’ teaching which we “think” are irrelevant.  Another question which came to my mind when I read today’s Gospel was this: “One of the twelve a traitor?” We often think that Judas must have been different, obviously worse than the other disciples. If that were true, everyone would have suspected him when Jesus said, “One of you will betray me.” They would have thought: “It must be Judas. He’s always been bad. He’s capable of betraying Jesus. I don’t know why Jesus picked him.” Instead, Judas did not stand out as any worse than they were. If he did, they would have immediately suspected him. Each one of us, as well, could become a Judas little by little, first by giving up our principles on smaller matters and then later on more important matters. In the Christian life there always needs to be a healthy tension of straining forward and of watchfulness. The one who is trustworthy in small matters is trustworthy in greater matters.

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