Today we recall that Judas Iscariot sold out the Man -- whom, incredibly enough -- he believed to be the Messiah, for 30 pieces of silver.
It's a dark day...indeed the darkness of this day was dramatically portrayed, remembered, in the Office of Tenebrae, observed tonight at my parish and perhaps yours. Yet there remained a sliver of light. The blackness of the Cathedral was not utter: a single candle still glowed bravely and all eyes fastened on it, as if it were a lifeline, as the service ended with an unearthly clash that resembled nothing less than an world petrified.
Prior to the service, I heard, at Mass, Father Dennis ask the question: "have you sold out Jesus?"
We're so quick to shudder at the greed of Judas, at the enornity of his betrayal, and yet, and yet...am I so innocent of selling my Savior out?
Every time I sin, I betray the One Who only wants to save me. It doesn't have to be a grand bribe, either. I can sell out Jesus by snapping at a co-worker, cursing a driver who's cut me off, staying quiet when His Church is attacked, no matter how subtly. Compared to Judas' haul, my betrayal of Jesus nets me chump change...but it's a betrayal nevertheless and how it must hurt Him Who loves me so very much.
In yesterday's Gospel, Jesus predicted the betrayal of two...Peter and Judas. And His predictions came to pass.
The best thing, of course, is to never betray Jesus.
If, however, we do -- and I know I have, many times -- our hope, as Peter must have recognized, is that sliver of light burning on this darkest of days. I can weep bitterly and, despite my anguish, despite all wordly odds, look toward the Light of Mercy. Or, like Judas, I can allow Satan to enter me, rob me of all hope, and seduce me into giving in to the faux-luxury that is called despair.
Any day can be a "Spy Wednesday" for us.
And on those days it is imperative to remember that even in the darkest, scariest, and most miserable of times, there stands a sliver of light if we care to see it. It is light enough to guide us out of our guilt through the begging of that Divine Mercy which will surely be granted. If only we repent and ask for it.
God bless you.
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