If someone you admire tells you that you have a long-standing friend who is spreading rumours about you and even warning people to be careful of you, you would most certainly want to know who that person is so that you could ask them why they have become so anti-you. You would probably put such an individual in their place and break off your friendship for good. This is the way people respond today. It appears to be the norm.
Interestingly this is not the way Jesus dealt with Judas. He refrained from mentioning his name openly and only hinted at what was really happening. Peter, who would later become the leader of the apostles, was very disturbed by this news and, through another apostle very close to Jesus, he asks his master for the name of the traitor, but Jesus isn’t entirely clear in his response.
We wonder why it is that Jesus didn’t clearly identify Judas as the traitor? There are two possible reasons. Firstly He did not want the apostles to unleash their anger on Judas. This applies to us as well. Jesus wants his followers to respond to betrayal in a very different way to that of the world in which we live. Some may remember the ‘See, judge, act’ method of the Young Christian Workers.
Secondly, Jesus leaves room for repentance. This option was available to Judas who chose otherwise. This option is always available to us as well. We have the opportunity to repent and to turn our lives around from whatever wrongs and sins we may have committed.
What God wants of us is always to ask for help, to place all our trust in Him by staying close to Him and following his ways. To do this we must read the scriptures (the gospels in particular), go to Mass regularly and to confession frequently. Life is the training ground for heaven and so it follows that it is up to us to work towards our own salvation.
Do an examination of conscience and try to establish what kind of a prayerful relationship you have with God. Then pray for the courage and strength to be as compassionate and forgiving as he is. Finally, make a firm purpose of amendment as you commit yourself to doing better in the future.
Lord Jesus, forgive my many sins especially those that hurt others. Help me to act faithfully towards the Church that you left to guide us. Help me to do only that which is right and to love my neighbour as you love me. Amen.