Thursday, 12 July 2012

Jesus loved Judas


During these last weeks I have been thinking about a passage that struck me during this year's Good Friday way of the cross that was lead by Pope Benedict XVI and for which the meditations were prepared by Danilo and Anna Maria Zanzucchi (the first married couple ever to provide the thoughts to reflect on during this key moment of the Easter triduum):
It seems we can hear you say:
“I have been condemned to death;
so many people who seemed to love and understand me
have listened to lies
and accused me.
They did not understand my words.
They handed me over to judgement and condemnation.
To death by crucifixion, the most ignominious death.”
What caught my attention here was the insight that Jesus loved Judas as much as all the other apostles and that Judas' betrayal must have hurt him a lot. The picture of Judas in the Gospels is understandably negative and his mentions tend to be accompanied by warnings of his future betrayal. This, to me, has until last Easter obscured the fact that Jesus would not have viewed Judas in such a light. He would have been fond of him and would have looked upon him as he did upon John, Peter, James or the other apostles. His betrayal would have been a searing pain for Jesus rather than the consummation of the inevitable that I previously got from a superficial reading of Scripture. What this underlines to me is that Jesus experienced not only the abandonment by society that Golgotha presents, but a very personal, individual betrayal by a loved one too.