Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Where is he now?

Today's gospel is perhaps one of the strongest possible warning against judging others. After all, how many of us would be rather certain in our condemnation of Judas for his betrayal of Jesus? Any yet, this year in particular we may have to rethink that condemnation.

If we read St. Mark or St. Matthew, we may well feel justified in our condemnation of Judas. But this year we read St. Luke on Sunday and today we read St. John.  Both St. Luke and St. John

Then Satan entered into Judas the one surnamed Iscariot, who was counted among the Twelve (Lk. 22:3)

The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over. (Jn 13:2)

So which was it. Was the betrayal of Jesus a mortal sin, evil freely chosen by Judas? Or was it the actions of a man possessed? The simple fact is we don't know. We cannot know. Only God knows the truth of the heart of Judas. 

But is that not the reality of every human being.  God alone can know the heart.  The best we can do is struggle to understand our own hearts, our own actions.  

In these last few days of Lent, on this one question, let us turn away from others, and look deeply into our own heart.   The first step in Reconciliation with God and the Church is contrition, genuine sorrow for the wrong we have done.  In this area of life it is good to be self-centered. The only heart I can know is my own and the only conscience I can examine is my own.  

It is so easy for any of us to judge others. We can do it in an instant, at work, or even while driving the car. It is much harder for us to engage in a true examination of conscience.

Now is the time.