Father Paul reads from the Gospel of Matthew (26: 14-25) and reflects on the reasons why Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus to the Chief Priests and Pharisees. He suggests three possible answers.
Firstly, greed – the scriptures tell us that Judas was dipping into the common fund he was in charge of, so when the Chief Priests and Pharisees offered him 30 pieces of silver, perhaps, his greed overcame him.
Secondly, political and geographic reasons – while nearly all of the other disciples were Galileans, Judas is a Judean. Maybe he wanted to betray Jesus because of their different social and political backgrounds.
Thirdly, and for Fr Paul most significantly, Judas betrayed Jesus because his faith was too weak – too weak to accept the challenge of who Jesus is.
People were expecting a messiah, a King. If a King or a Queen were to visit us today, we would have our own perception of what he or she would be like… we might expect them to be very rich, very well dressed and bejewelled… a leader of nations.
Fr Paul says Judas may have had these kinds of expectations. Yet, Jesus is none of that! Perhaps, Judas simply couldn’t cope with the fact that Jesus could be the one, the Messiah, the King.
In our prayer time today, we might reflect that Judas reminds us how easy it can be to be greedy, racist and weak. How I can be the opposite? How can I be generous? How can be accepting of others? How can I be strong in faith?