"Open your eyes, not your mind!!!" - this is the fantastic sentence Jesus tells Judas and of course, us as well. I don't know how many times I've watched this beautiful film, however, this time this sentence really stood out and touched a chord deep deep down inside me. This fantastic montage was put together by a very precious and dear friend of mine Fr Pierre OFM and he gave me the permission to upload it here if i wanted to. Of course, here it is ............. as some of you might remember, some months ago I was going through a 'feeling sorry for Judas' phase and uploaded a comment about it. This is where Pierre suggested that I could use his clip if I wanted to.
How many times I am ever so arrogant with God and His Son Jesus? How many times I refuse to believe something just because my mind tells me that it is neither logical nor rational? Why is it that I put so much trust in what my mind can apprehend rather than what my eyes can perceive? Who told me that reason is so much superior to sensory perception? Where did this myth come from? Who started it? What made me believe and accept it?
On the other hand, why is it that I don't see all the signs around me when I perceive them with my senses? How can it be the case that reason is superior to that which my senses are perceiving every single second of the day? Of course, reason is important but it is not the one thing needed for confirmation. We are surrounded by God's infinite beauty and yet we fail to appreciate and read the messages because our feeble, limited and human mind cannot understand God and God's supernatural nature !! And Jesus here is telling me: Open your eyes not your mind !!!
I do still feel sorry for Judas because he was chosen for this specific role, but someone once had told me that just because Judas was chosen does not necessarily mean that God wanted Judas to do what he actually did, but rather that God, in His infinite wisdom, could foresee what Judas would be able to do due to his character and its weakness. Let me explain myself better. Both Judas and Peter betrayed Jesus in their own way. Judas sold Jesus, whereas Peter denied that he even knew Jesus three times !!! I have no doubt that both actions hurt Jesus deeply as we need to remember that these were two of his closest friends. How would we have felt if this had happened to us? Would we not have felt destroyed? Why should Jesus 'the Man' feel any different? However, the conclusion is not exactly the same, is it?
While we know what happened to Peter because he realised what he had done, repented and cried his heart out, Judas despaired and hanged himself. This is where the tragedy lies. Peter did not give up on God's mercy, kindness and forgiveness but Judas did. And it is this fact, which I believe, lead him to despair and suicide. He just could not believe and accept it in his heart that God's love and mercy are infinitely bigger than his 'crime'. And he despaired, and he gave up ........ and he killed himself and that is wrong !!!
Again, this fact makes me feel even sorrier for Judas because he just could not cope with what he had done to his friend. And these are the questions I would like to ask myself today: do I really feel this bad about myself when I go out of line and do things I should not really do? Does it fill me with such guilt? I don't think so !!! I don't think that my soul is half as sensitive as Judas'. I might not have physically killed anyone however, that does not mean that I have not killed .................. I killed people emotionally, and yet I am aware of it and still living!! Why should I feel hatred towards a soul that despaired because it realised and understood the gravity of the action it had committed? Of course, I'm not proclaiming suicide (don't get me wrong) but all I'm saying is that: we are in no position to judge because we are no better.
If Judas was predestined to betray Jesus, then I simply can't see him being burnt in hell: it would surely not be just and God is justice itself. To be morally responsible for any action, the action has to be freely chosen by the agent and not coerced into it. So there, Judas' integrity is questionable. On the other hand, if Judas freely chose to betray his friend and Master, then at least through that deed, the gates of Heaven were open wide in order to accept both you and me inside. We had no chance before that event took place !!! Should Judas pay for this price by being eternally hated, misunderstood and condemned !!!! I don't think so !!!