Reading this article in America Magazine today got me thinking; has Judas Iscariot gotten a bad rap throughout Christian history?
The Gospels describe him as greedy, a thief, jealous, demon possessed. In Paradise Lost, Dante portrays him being chewed headfirst in Satan's mouth for all eternity. Does Judas deserve such a fate? And the article makes an excellent point; how could Judas remain an Apostle, amongst Jesus's closet friends in the world, and retain all of these horrid qualities?
I have no answers, but it is something I've thought about often, particularly when entering the Triduum. Was Judas a Zealot, trying to force Christ's hand in proclaiming His Kingship by having Him arrested? Did Christ somehow make Judas understand and accept the role he was to play in salvation, as in The Last Temptation of Christ? Was he some poor dupe of the wiley Sanhedrin, as he was in Zefferelli's Jesus of Nazareth? Did Satan literally have his minions enter into Judas as described in the Gospels and in the visions of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich?
When he saw the havoc his betrayal had caused, did Judas weep as Simon Peter wept after denying Him?
Judas Iscariot, Apostle of Christ, I wonder about your fate from time to time.
Holy Thursday, Mass of the Last Supper
Daily Mass Readings
1 Corinthians 11:23-26