Our Inner “Judas Iscariot”

 Today’s Gospel reading  tells us about Jesus appointing & calling the first of His apostles. I am especially struck by the last sentence of the lesson: ” and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Him.” {Mark 3:19}

We 21st Century Christians know, as one of my favorite priests always said” the end of the story” We know that this Judas character will evebtually betray his rabbi & friend for a bribe. We are quick to judge Judas and for a good reason. After all, it was this guy who led the Roman soldiers to Jesus…and  he even betrayed Our Lord with a kiss! If tere is anyone in the Gospels who deserves our wrath, it is this man Judas Iscariot. It is HIS fault that Jesus was  sent to die on the Cross, correct?

But wait …do we not betray Our Lord every time we sin against another human? Even our venial sins betray Jesus. For instance, each time I withhold forgiveness from another person, I betray the One Who came, taught , died & was risen so that I may be free. When I hold a grudge, am I any better than the disciple who betrayed Jesus to His enemies?  No. I am as bad as was Judas Iscariot since I put myself & my petty need to hold grudges before Jesus’ teachings. 

Our Lord taught mercy, agape love & forgiveness, but there is evidence throughout our collective & individual lives of betrayal of what Jesus stands for and Who He is. 

Perhaps a good discipline would be to pray the Prayer of Humble Access every evening throughout the remainder of this Lenten season.{ you can find this in the Book of Common Prayer on page 337} This beautiful prayer is a reminder that all of us come to The Lord’s Table with the sin of betrayal on our hearts. But our God is a loving God Who * can* & *does* forgive us our manifold sins.

Thanks be to God.

Amen!

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