Conversation: Judas

 

Giotto_-_Scrovegni_-_-31-_-_Kiss_of_JudasMatthew 26:1-5, 14-16, 47-50; 27:1-5

 

The view is beautiful from here.

It is so quiet.

It is a place of still waters –

I wish all my fields could be such a heaven on earth.

But it has become the valley of the shadow of death

And this place will see the death of me.

 

I am Judas Iscariot – the one who betrayed Jesus.

You know little more about me, do you?

Ever since the kiss – that’s all that’s been said about me.

The one who betrayed Jesus.

Do you know what it’s like to be known only by the

worse thing you have ever done?

 

Welcome! Welcome to my place of suicide.

There’s a beautiful view here.

No one else will join us.

They’ve all run away.

The others – if they were so convinced about Jesus –

As convinced as I – how come they were loss to sight

from the moment of the kiss?

They are betrayers too.

They betrayed me – has anyone tried to see me since

I returned the money – what do you think?

But that is not the greatest betrayal;

The betrayal of a priest is far worse.

‘Go and see to it yourself!’

 

How can a guilty man do that?

Yes Jesus was innocent

And you can speculate about why I did it till the shepherd gathers in his flock –

Money, ambition, disappointment, terrorist plots – they all are said –

forget them:

This is the question –what are you going to do with a guilty man?

‘Go and see to it yourself ‘

What did he expect me to do this priest who had forgotten his calling?

Pray?

Sacrifice?

Hide?

What he had he gave me – nothing!

 

I have nothing to do that will change the fact.

My dream for Jesus was not his.

He did not want my heaven on earth.

That kiss –

lip to cheek, hair with hair, the smell of him

meant so much to me – and do you know now what breaks my heart?

 

He returned the kiss!

He called me friend.

And his voice was so gentle – do what you have come here to do.

This was not rejection.

This was acceptance.

This was embrace.

This was intimacy.

All that he had ever been – to the lepers, the women, the un-hinged, the sinner –

He was now to me!

And it was too late.

I had watched him – but had not let him near me.

 

The sun is beyond the dawn.

I will go and see to it myself!

It was the best in me that betrayed him – the longing, my heaven on earth – not the worse.

Just remember that.

Lord Jesus Christ – betrayed by a friend – pour out your grace on

  • those who have been betrayed by those who have denied them their understanding
  • those who live with overwhelming guilt
  • those who have reached the point of no return
  • those who have forgiven their betrayer
  • those who keep you at a distance
  • those who seek to control you by their deepest convictions

and forgive the people who bear your name when they betray you

and by this grace transform us all.

 Photo: The Kiss of Judas by Giotto di Bondone
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