Today, Holy Wednesday, is known as Spy Wednesday. Judas one of the 12 actually approaches the chief priests willing to hand over Jesus for money. To imagine somebody who lived with Jesus for three years could do something like that. He had lost complete faith in Jesus— John chapter 6 reveals that Judas remains in the company of Jesus while not believing that Jesus was the bread of life, that he could give his flesh to eat. When Jesus reveals that somebody in their company will betray him all the 12 begin to ask “ is it I Lord?” Judas however asks “ if it I Rabbi?”. Judas, it appears, does not recognize Jesus as Lord but as the more distant “rabbi”.
It’s very sad. In in the garden of Gethsemane, Judas hands over Jesus with a false sign of friendship. Yet Jesus calls him friend. He is willing to accept him back as his friend. Judas ultimately refuses. He has not known Jesus at all. He had only to be sorry for his betrayal, to be open to the mercy of God, to believe that Jesus is all about forgiveness and mercy. Can he be that blind?
Peter contrasts with Judas. Although he has denied Jesus—denied even knowing him!—Peter weeps tears of repentance. He believes that Jesus will forgive him. Peter thinks, “Lord, to whom shall I go? You have the words of everlasting life”. He let Jesus save him, to have mercy upon him. The saving blood of Jesus on the Cross fell upon Peter.
May we always trust in Divine Mercy and never despair. Lord Jesus help us to never betray you by our sinfulness… if you do not help us we are capable of betraying you. St. Philip Neri prayed this prayer “O Jesus, watch over me always, especially today, or I shall betray you like Judas.”