I often think that really Jesus was betrayed by all of the disciples, Judas just did it more prolifically and publicly. Fr. Jack Ledwon at mass today reminded me that “Judas knew Jesus enough to be named as the comptroller of this organization–the one who held the purse–and was often untrustworthy even with that task.”
Betrayal is an awful thing. I remember feeling betrayed by a number of old colleagues once and the feeling of not being able to be transparent out of fear that betrayal would come my way was the most unsettling feeling. Imagine Jesus after the resurrection facing those who betrayed him and being bold enough to offer forgiveness. I think perhaps maybe Jesus even was feeling sad that the biggest betrayer of all couldn’t be there to be offered forgiveness by him.
Perhaps that is a lesson for us this week. That even in our own sin, we retain the sure and certain hope that God is always offering us his reconciling love. There is never a need for us to become so distraught that we go off and hang ourselves as Judas did, showing his lack of faith in God’s possibilities for him.
God spies on us too. God looks at us, the ones with the devious plans to try to get around God’s limits on our lives, limits that ultimately keep us loving one another and not turning towards selfishness. But we’re the ones who think that we need more than God, that God couldn’t be enough for us. And God sneaks back into our lives anyway.
Jesus’ sacrifice for us couldn’t be enough to clear our names from the spy directory, could it?
So there is a bit of Judas, the spy, in all of us. Can we admit that we need help to believe that God is all that we’ll ever need and that we can be forgiven of even the vilest betrayals, if only we allow God to be God and offer us limitless forgiveness?