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JUDAS PLAYS HIS PART - Why did Jesus choose Judas to be one of his closest team?

He clearly didn't fit in. Most of the others were from Galilee, "Northerners", whereas Judas was from the south, from Kerioth (according to his surname). He wouldn't have sounded the same as the others; as far as we know he wasn't a fisherman either, so a lot of the banter between the others would have been lost on him.

Perhaps Judas had initially agreed to be a part of Jesus's Team because he saw in Him the one who would rid the land of the Romans? That was the opinion of many - and they became disillusioned when, as far as they were concerned, Jesus didn't "deliver" their expectations of Him. Similarly, perhaps Judas felt let-down by Jesus, betrayed by Him?

Jesus was willing to invest in Judas the trusted role of Treasurer. That was to prove to be his point of vulnerability. Judas, stealing from "the common purse", took solace in being able to purchase whatever would make him feel good at a cost to Jesus and the others. Thirty pieces of silver was just too much to resist.

O God, protector of the poor and defender of the just;

in your kingdom the last become first,

the gentle are strong

and the lowly exalted.

Give us wisdom, that we might find in your servant Jesus

the pattern of true discipleship

and the grace to persevere in following him

who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit,

God, for ever and ever. Amen. ICEL Collects

JOHN 12 Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard,

anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, ‘Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii

and the money given to the poor?’

(He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse, and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you,

but you do not always have me.’

Said Judas to Mary, "Now what will you do

with your ointment so rich and rare?"

"I'll pour it all over the feet of the Lord,

and I'll wipe it away with my hair," she said,

"I'll wipe it away with my hair."

"Oh Mary, O Mary, O think of the poor.

This ointment, it could have been sold;

and think of the blanket and think of the bread

you could buy with the silver and gold," he said,

" You could buy with silver and gold."

"Tomorrow, tomorrow, I'll think of the poor;

tomorrow," she said, "not today;

for dearer than all of the poor in the world

is my love who is going away," she said,

" My love who is going away."

Sydney Carter

LUKE 22: Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people.

Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. They were delighted and agreed to give him money. He consented and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.

In Gethsemane, while Jesus was still speaking, a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus asked him, ‘Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?’

Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, ‘Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour – when darkness reigns.’ Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest.

MATTHEW 27: When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. ‘I have sinned,’ he said, ‘for I have betrayed innocent blood.’

‘What is that to us?’ they replied. ‘That’s your responsibility.’ So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself. The chief priests picked up the coins and said, ‘It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.’ So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day.

Lord Jesus, when you hung on the Cross you must have thought about Judas.

Did you have him in mind when you promised the thief

that you would be with him in Paradise?

Did you seek out Judas as you both joined the ranks of the dead?

O Lord, I pray that you did,

and that he was humble and contrite enough

to accept your forgiveness.

The Way of a Disciple” – George Appleton


“And then he kissed him” from “Wrestling with Christ”

by Luigi Santucci

For Judas it wasn’t enough to point Jesus out with his finger,

or indicate who he was by his face or the colour of his tunic.

The night was dark as pitch, and all the shadows looked alike.

in order to avoid any mistake,

a precise distinguishing act was needed,

and from very near.

He had to kiss him.

Once he’d made his way right up to the Master,

perhaps Judas felt he couldn’t justify

his unreasonable and awkward proximity

unless he carried it through with a kiss.

Or perhaps he could have withheld the brotherly gesture,

but at the last minute the wretched man became two people again

and with dizzy courage leapt out of his treachery.

Did his kiss placate his envy of John the Beloved Disciple,

whose head had been resting on Jesus just a few hours before?

Perhaps there passed from Judas’s lips to Christ’s ear

some word that remained unheard by the evangelist….

The contact of that mouth

was in very truth the beginning,

the first act of physical brutality,

the first wound.

“WE PREACH CHRIST CRUCIFIED” – The Real Tragedy – Kenneth Leech

The real tragedy of Good Friday was the death of Judas.

This death was truly tragic, meaningless, violent and desperate.

Unless we can identify in some way with his loss of hope,

we have not begun to understand Good Friday.

Entry into the darkness is the very heart of faith and of hope.

To be a Christian at all is to enter this dark night.

It was St John of the Cross in the sixteenth century

who first used the term “dark night of the soul”.

The way of faith is obscure – as St John of the Cross says,

we travel by night, we pass through the darkness.

Judas entered the darkness,

but never came through.

O God, come to our aid.

O Lord, make haste to help us.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit,

as it was in the beginning,

is now, and ever shall be,

world without end. Amen.

Psalm 39 (40)

Ours were the sufferings he bore,

Ours were the sorrows he carried.

I waited, I waited for the Lord; and he heard me.

He heard my voice when I cried,

he led me from the pit of misery,

He set my feet on firm rock,

he steadied my footsteps.

He filled my being with a new song,

a song to the Lord.

Happy the one who trusts in the Lord,

who pays no heed to the proud,

who pays no heed to liars.

Many are your wonders, O Lord my God,

and great is your care for us:

there is no-one like you.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit,

as it was in the beginning,

is now, and ever shall be,

world without end.

Ours were the sufferings he bore,

Ours were the sorrows he carried.

PRAYER OF ABANDONMENT - Charles de Foucauld

Father, I abandon myself into your hands; do with me what you will. Whatever you may do, I thank you: I am ready for all,

I accept all. Let only your will be done in me, and in all Your creatures - I wish no more than this, O Lord.

Into your hands I commend my soul; I offer it to you with all the love of my heart.

I love you Lord, and so need to give myself, to surrender myself into your hands, without reserve, and with boundless confidence,

For you are my Father.

Grant Lord,

that we who are constantly betrayed by our own weakness

may draw the breath of new life

from the passion and death of your Only-Begotten Son,

who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

Let us praise the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

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