When we speak ill of others, we are imitating Judas. We commodify people like Judas did to the Son of God.
I’ve been reflecting on Pope Francis’s short homily to the workers at his current home at Domus Sanctae Marthae in the Vatican. (Friends of mine who stayed there during the Ecclesia in America conference we participated in in December really want to know what room he is staying in.)
A Dominican priest writes: “Judas’ sin is a lack of love, and it is on this basis that he –- and every one of us –- is judged. As St John of the Cross says: ‘At the end of our life, we will be judged on love’; not on what we have or do not have, whether we’re rich or poor, but on love. On this basis, we’re all equal.”
He continues: “The past forty days, then, have invited us all on a movement of love, away from self and towards others; from Judas to Jesus. Hence, our journey culminates with him on the Cross. There, stripped of all possessions and status, completely poor but also most free, the greatest Love dies for his friends – for you, for me, and also for Judas.”
It’s shocking how easy it can be to lack love. We do it every day, don’t we?
I love (no pun intended) this prayer as we enter deeper into Holy Week and prepare to renew our Baptismal vows as we thank God for his merciful eternal love: This Holy Thursday, as we commemorate the sacred moment when Jesus Christ gave us the Church, the Eucharist, and his priesthood, may our celebration be a supplication: Free us from ourselves. Let our wounds be yours.
With a prayer like that, how can there be despair? No matter what we’ve done.
As a man named Francis recently said: Never tire of asking God for His mercy. Even if you’ve done the same thing you’ve done before. Even if you’ve done what seems unforgivable. Given what He did for us, really, our every sin really ought to be — every rejection of God’s love, every piercing of His heart with our sins. Thanks be to God, they are not. That’s love. That’s generosity. That’s our salvation.