A sinful blind-spot
It may simply be a matter of speculation on my part, but I think it is nonetheless worth exploring: did Judas feel betrayed by Jesus, prior to Spy Wednesday?
The reason I ask this question is not to domesticate or diminish the weight of Judas’ betrayal by adding some psychological explanation for his motives that softs and “explains away” what our Lord described as a reason to wish one “had never been born.” Rather, it is to illustrate how our own false-victimhood can lead to becoming exactly what we condemn.
Wounds work like that. Those who have been hurt, without being healed, tend to inflict similar wounds on others. Those who’ve been betrayed in their life may have a “trigger” in this regard, and as a result preemptively strike others in order to protect themselves. Judas may have had a vision of Christ as a very specific type of Messiah. And when he realized that Christ’s agenda was to address sin and death rather than the temporal matters of the day (which involved oppression, injustice, and a type of secular seeking of prosperity), he may have felt that Christ had betrayed what Judas’ notion of justice and the Messianic mission.
All of us are susceptible to interpreting our relationships out of a place of fear, that projects past experiences into our relationship with one another. This lack of “trust” is not necessarily altogether a bad dimension. It is a coping mechanism that enables us to be cautious, and not naive in the way we trust others. But as any wound, it can dominate our thinking, and override our ability to trust, especially when it is “right and just” to have trust in others (especially God).
Judas was unwilling to shift his own way of thinking, because at the end of the Day, Jesus was not His Lord, only some guru of wisdom. He says “surely not I teacher” in juxtaposition to the faithful apostles who said, “surely not I Lord.” This reveals His own inner disposition of being unwilling to allow his own mind to be moved. A teacher may instruct the mind, but the Lord commands it to change. Without these two dimensions integrated, there is no authority in what Judas was taught, but only the authority and voice of a wound festering.
All of us find ourselves in this position, due to living in a fallen world. We are all touched and wounded by our own sins, and the sins of others. We have come to internalize this dysfunction, and as a result we end up betraying one another, while only being occupied with a perceived betrayal.
Today is a reminder for us in the Church to turn toward Jesus, and ask Him to heal our wounds. We must expose to him the parts of our lives that we have internalized lies about ourselves, inordinate shame, and anything that would imply His ways are untrustworthy and contrary to our Good and the good of one another.
Judas did regret betraying Christ, but after - and then he ended his life in despair. All because He could not open even the wound of betraying God to Jesus. He did not believe that it was possible for the Lord to forgive Him. He did not believe that God was that good. With faith, we can believe that and we need to abide in His mercy.
Lets be aware of our triggers - we all have them. We live in a world where sin reigns, and broken relationships are dominantly influencing our agendas. Let’s expose them to the Lord, who heals, and frees us from the blindness of Judas.