The Betrayal by Judas

From “Meditations For Each Day” by Antonio Cardinal Bacci

“The example of Judas should teach us a lesson.”

1. Ingatitude is a very cruel thing. It imprints a deep wound on the human heart, and the heart of Jesus was infinitely more sensitive than ours. He had raised Judas to the high rank of the Apostolate; He had made him one of His closest friends and had entrusted him with the secrets of His infinite love. Now Judas betrays him for the wretched sum of thirty pieces of silver. Worse is to follow, however. While Jesus is praying and perspiring blood at the thought of the ingratitude of men and of the nearness of His passion and death, the garden of Gethsemane suddenly becomes aglow with torches and reverberates with the shouting of the hired ruffians whom Judas has brought with him to arrest Jesus. The treacherous Apostle comes forward. He embraces our divine Redeemer, hails Him as his master and greets Him with a sacrilegious kiss upon the cheek. Jesus neither repulses nor rebukes him, but with a gesture of infinite mercy He addresses him as a friend. “Friend,” He says, “for what purpose dost thou come?” (Mt. 26:50) “Dost thou betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” (Luke 22:48)

If only Judas could have heeded this last appeal and begged for forgiveness at Jesus’ feet with tears of repentance! Jesus would certainly have taken him to His heart and returned his kiss with a kiss of pardon and divine friendship.

Perhaps we have also stood at times on the brink of sin and have been aware of a higher appeal to go back. But have we heeded it? If ever we are in grave danger again, let us listen to this quiet voice which speaks to our conscience. Let us fall on our knees before Jesus and earnestly implore Him: “Be not silent Lord, be not far from me!” (Ps. 34:22) Let us ask Him to have pity on our weakness and come to our assistance.

2. It is quite certain that Judas did not commit this sacrilegious act on the spur of the moment. Evil, like goodness, is arrived at step by step…. CONTINUE READING

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3 Responses to The Betrayal by Judas

  1. So very true and we know Hitler became the monster he did over years of a variety of incremental steps and decisions that positioned him to grow into great evil when it was made available, he was well conditioned for evil by then just as the opposite holds true for many individuals who rise to the occasion of heroism and great benevolent acts for God’s purposes when called upon as the Saints and others!
    I like something Hannah Arendt said to explain an example of how evil can get a grip on even average persons.
    “Hannah Arendt beautifully explains; “Yes, there is a time when good men and women must stand up for what’s right, even when it involves risk, but that moment comes only after evil has already been well established and is powerfully on the move.” Evil is inherently weak. The truth is that evil survives by tricking the good into doing its will. “Without thousands of basically decent people confused enough to obey, evil would fail quickly.” She goes on to summarize evil this way: “The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil. These people wouldn’t initiate murders by themselves, but in the name of duty, loyalty, unity, and/or the greater good, they cooperate with evil and give it their strength. But each plays a small part—none of them stretches so far that they’d have to contemplate the final effects of their actions.” In the 20th century, however, the actions of such people led directly to the murders of 260 million people. And they did this precisely by avoiding decisions… by merely obeying. “People think of murder, lying, and robbery as sins, but none of those has nearly the death toll of obedience.”
    “Basically decent men and women obey agents of evil for very mundane reasons. The process often goes like this:
    1. Being confused and intimidated, they look for the center of the pack.
    2. They try not to make waves.
    3. They learn that they can avoid making waves best if they adopt the perspectives of their overlords. So they run the overlords’ slogans through their minds as a default program.
    In the end, these people don’t make up their minds. Rather, they take on the minds of their overlords and do their will.
    And so, the vast majority of evil done on Earth traces back to minds and wills that have been abandoned to fear and laid on the Altar of Obedience.”
    So I concluded that the Obama years were chock full of this abandonment and accepting what he said as gospel and we have seen the utter decay of our Nation because of it!
    So those prophetic words by Edmund Burke “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing,” are so true even today and I suspect as long as humans inhabit the earth!
    God Bless.
    Happy Easter everyone.
    Lawrence Morra

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  2. kathleen says:

    Wow, Lawrence, you have really hit the nail on the head! This is exactly how evil works its sinister way into the minds and hearts of many men when we/they fail to make a conscious decision to thwart it, however hard that might be at times. Great, great points made in your comment here… thank you.

    A blessed and holy Triduum and a very happy Easter.

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  3. I visited the Garden of Gethsemane a few years ago. I thought that there would be a hushed silence there. I thought people would be praying.
    Instead, it was very noisy. Some pilgrims were looking at pictures of each other’s grandchildren, and two men were discussing baseball statistics. Human nature is frail. Our spirits are willing, but our flesh is weak.
    Let us thank our Lord for his sacrifice to redeem our fallen humanity.

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