10 Minute Daily Retreat - Read the Word of God with a prayerful heart.
By Malcolm Davies (No. 234)
Then, while Jesus was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a crowd with swords and clubs, who had come from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders.
His betrayer had arranged a signal with them, saying, "the man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him and lead him away securely."
He came and immediately went over to him and said, "Rabbi." And he kissed him.
At this they laid hands on him and arrested him.
Judas' betrayal of Jesus continues to be a mystery. Judas greets Jesus with a kiss which was a sign of deep friendship and respect during that time.
It may be that Judas was trying to bring about the reign of God by betraying Jesus and then expecting him to initiate a perverted Kingdom of earthly power. In this Kingdom, the Roman rulers would be destroyed through the direct intervention of God the Father.
The possibilities of perversion of the human heart are endless. The only way to authentic conversion and the true Kingdom of God is to place oneself on the side of Jesus, assuming his point of view.
We must try, day after day, to be in full communion with Jesus through lives of prayer, forgiveness and service of the poor.
After his fall, Peter repented and found forgiveness and grace. In contrast, Judas did not seek the forgiveness and mercy of Jesus.
Jesus offers us grace and mercy every day. We have the freedom to choose to be like Peter and experience grace or be like Judas and experience despair.
Lord, for the times I have betrayed you, have mercy on me.