There is something about remembering the last time you shared a social gathering with what seemed to be friends who later became your nightmare. It appeared to be one way, but in reality it was quite another. Today, all chummy, fake smiles with pats on the back. Tomorrow carrying out the schemes that had already been cooking for a long time, like the meal they shared.
Judas showed up and made an appearance. He had been a busy boy. By the end of the supper, after dipping in the same bowl with him, Jesus looked into eyes that could not look back and said that he might as well get on with it.
It’s a terrible thing to suddenly be known for who you are or what you are doing. It’s a terrible thing to know that one you trusted has never been as trustworthy as you thought.
I’ve always felt for Judas, so contrite later that he gave the money back, so tortured that he ended it all. If it all was predestined, as some say, then he was simply playing his part very well. Who could blame him? If not, if he was acting out of his freedom to choose, then he is a tragic figure that reminds me of, well, me, of us, of the world. How often we have it wrong. And how often we take the liberty to destroy out of all that wrongness.
Though Judas ended up hanging at the end of the rope what I know is that all our lives hang on slender threads. And deep down I lean on the very same grace that upheld Judas, though he obviously didn’t know it. At least then.
I hope we meet, Judas and me, in some other life, some other existence, in the mystery of God’s time and place. I’ll want to catch up, find out how he’s doing, now that we all see the big picture. It may be that the indignities of the past are long forgotten, irrelevant to the moment. When you’re existing in awe and wonder the dark stains of the past somehow evaporate. I hope so, for him. But not just for him. I just hope.