There were not many heroes during Holy Week… a lot of cowards and thieves and betrayers, but not many “Medal of Honor” winners. Sometimes I tend to divide the participants into the holy faithful saintly ones on one side (e.g. Mary) and the bums and cowards on the other side (e.g. Judas). I of course, would be at Jesus side in the garden, on the way to Calvary and then at the cross…encouraging and consoling the Lord…. hmmmmm, really Dave? Even in this Holy week of 2023, I’m one of the “good guys” with my prayers and devotions and even a bit of fasting. “ Oh Lord, I’m so happy I’m not like one of them… I’ll watch with you one hour, I won’t betray you, I love you… I may even go to the Stations of the Cross”.
Gee, I wish it were that simple and clear cut. This week is not about what a great guy ole Dave is, it’s about how great the Lord is and how by his sacrifice he redeemed all the ole Daves. “Judas is not the first or the last to betray the love of God. Betrayal began with Adam and Eve; it runs like a thread through the story of Israel and of our own. But Christ’s love is greater than our betrayal.” (Magnificat, 4-4-23) We all have betrayed the Lord, so let’s not be too quick to take too many bows. Bishop Barron cautions us: “ do not fall into a stance of smug and self-satisfied judgmentalism in regards to Judas.. we sinners are brothers and sisters to the betrayer.”
Our betrayal is not a small thing. I can think it didn’t bother Jesus because he was God… it was an annoying mosquito that he swished away.. not a big deal. I can tend to gloss over the pain of betrayal, yet we read, “if this (betrayal) had been done by an enemy, I could bear his taunts…but it is you, my own companion, my intimate friend…how close was the friendship between us.” (Ps. 55:5-13) Betrayal is devastating to the betrayed.
So the point of this BLOG is not to condemned ourselves, but to remind us that we really need a savior. Our sin and condition is too great to negotiate a solution in some discussion group or podcast. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We have betrayed God. We screwed up big time. Yet, “having taken in this haunting truth, here is the spiritual key: do not follow Judas into despair. Rather, walk the path of the repentant Peter.” (Bishop Robert Barron, Magnificat 2023 Holy Week, pg.16)
Let us walk this week not as an observer making witty comments, but as sinners in desperate need of a great savior. “For we who dwell in the darkness and the shadow of death, the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” (Luke 1:68-79) We are in desperate straits, but we have been rescued by a magnificent and loving God. And this is the Good News.
2 thoughts on ““Only One Hero… and It’s Not Me””
Dad, what a great perspective you have. I often like to put Judas down and proclaim my loyalty to Jesus. But I find relief and honestly in declaring how much I am in need of a Savior. Thanks be to God for the victory.
I’m overcome by how Jesus loves us even while we sin. He stands beside us and waits for our return to him. His goal is always to get us to heaven and live with him forever where there will be no more pain and sorrow. His love and sacrifice is like no other. We can never know enough of his love. I am so sorry for the times I have not loved🙏