“The crown of the thorns
is forced upon your head
I turn to face the guilty
I see my sins instead”
Like many Christians, I have a compulsive interest in Judas, especially his eagerly leaving the last Passover dinner in his haste to ensure the capture and arraignment of the rabbi he had been following.
He is so easy to hate. How could he betray Him? Jesus had shown him obvious affection and even honor. Yet Judas “sells” Jesus, and his own soul in the process, for a mere 30 pieces of silver. Such pettiness is repulsive in itself, not to mention the fact that he turned on the one person who had shown him more love in the previous three years than Judas had experienced during his entire life.
When he re-thinks his actions, he tries to give the money back as an expiation for his sin. But, it’s too little, too late. The Jewish authorities refuse to even pick up the money off the floor and they display no empathy for Judas’ regret.
At this point, Fr. Paul Scalia at Courageous Priest explains that regret has no relation to true repentance and that regret is never enough. We must repent, i.e., to turn around and change direction in order to escape our sins and stupidity.
We have to admit out loud that we did wrong. We cannot offer any excuses for our actions. Our actions were bad no matter how we “talked” ourselves into committing them. Or how we interpreted circumstances in making excuses for our own bad choices.
If you go to Confession on Good Friday, remember that eternity and ultimate truth are your main concerns, not trying to salvage any silly little vestige of your so-called dignity. Freedom only comes through absolute honesty; anything else is too little, too late.
“ . . . and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” St. John 8:32