Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Christians Anonymous: Judas and the Man

There are two characters in today's gospel (Matthew 26:14-25). Judas and the Man.

First there is Judas, shown here betraying his Lord for 30 pieces of silver. I remember earlier this year a wave of "Area 51" theological speculation about Judas which was distilled into a made-for-gullible-TV-watchers special. Like so much current theological tripe, it was based on late dated pseudo-gospel material, liberally sprinkled with warnings about the modern day mortal sin of heirarchy. Judas is an interesting character, both historically and theologically. But the lesson to be drawn from his life is primarily negative.... this is how not to be a disciple.

Benedict XVI offers this analysis:

Judas is neither a master of evil nor the figure of a demoniacal power of darkness but rather a sycophant who bows down before the anonymous power of changing moods and current fashion. But it is precisely this anonymous power that crucified Jesus, for it was anonymous voices that cried "Away with him! Crucfiy him!"

The more interesting and ultimately positive role model to me in this gospel reading is the unidentified "certain man" (also anomymous) who offered his home as a place where Jesus' disciples could eat the Passover.

One can't help but notice that he immediately obeys the summons....
No questions, no hesitations, no complications were recorded.

Such is the power of the Eucharist.... to turn those who participate into souls who joyfully turn over their homes and their very lives to become the habitation of the Most High God.

We are what we eat. We become Whom we obey.

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