Have you ever thought about the fact that Judas Iscariot worked miracles?
Today at Mass the priest talked about Judas, whom we’ve discussed before (at great length). I always feel bad for Judas because I don’t think he got what he wanted from his actions, and I don’t want to believe he’s in Hell.
The priest took a different tack than I did. His assertion was that Judas didn’t get what he wanted from Jesus — a special position among the Twelve as Top Dude, only that went to Peter — and that therefore Judas became like a petulant child. If he couldn’t own Jesus, he was going to see him dead.
His proposition was that Judas had been treated by Jesus just like all the rest of the Twelve, that he’d been entrusted with authority, witnessed miracles, heard all the teachings, had performed exorcisms and healings himself, and yet forgot all that in the face of his bitterness about not getting what he wanted. This is something, he said, he’s heard from modern-day Americans as well, people who say they “can’t believe in God” because of a tragedy that happened in their lives or some injustice or unfairness that’s gone on over time. They get stuck on the horns of that one terrible thing and no longer see the other good things God has given them.
The thing that struck me most, though, was that if Judas, who had worked miracles in Jesus’s name, could turn against him, then really there’s no guarantee that any of us wouldn’t. Specifically, that I would not. I’m not a very constant person sometimes (as you figured out by how often I update the blog these days). How tough would things have to get before I said, “Screw this. I’m done”? Every one of us must have that point. I’m sure Satan has little dossiers on each of us trying to figure out where that point is, and how to drive us toward it.
When I first started exercising, I didn’t buy a full year gym membership because I didn’t trust I’d keep going. When it came down to it, I’d rather pay more per month knowing I’m an inconstant person, than sign up for a year and pay for nine (or ten, or six) months I never used. My husband pointed out that at that time, I’d already been exercising daily for almost three months: how much more time did I need to establish a pattern? But my response was to know how little it would take to stop me. Laziness. An injury. Busy-ness.
Well, Judas had three years under his belt. Three years and miracles, and he did it.