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Topic: Doors (04/05/04)
TITLE: Tragic Memorial
By Norma OGrady
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Very little is told us in the Sacred Text concerning the history of Judas Iscariot beyond the bare facts of his call to the Apostolate, his treachery, and his death. His birthplace, as we have seen, is indicated in his name Iscariot, and it may be remarked that his origin separates him from the other Apostles, who were all Galileans.
For Kerioth is a city of Judah.
We are told nothing concerning the circumstances of his call or his share in the ministry and miracles of the Apostles. And it is significant that he is never mentioned without some reference to his great betrayal. Thus, in the list of the Apostles given in the Synoptic Gospels, we read: "and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him"
What a tragic memorial to the man that will be known throughout eternity for his betrayal of the Savior of the world.
Let us be clear on this point. Judas, by himself, would not have betrayed the Christ. It was put into his heart by the Adversary.
In His marvelous prayer, our Lord avers: "When I was with them in the world I kept those whom Thou has given Me in Thy name, and I guard them, and not one of them perished except the son of destruction, that the Scripture may be fulfilled (John 17:12).
Only once does our Lord bare His heart in relation to Judas, and that just at the crisis when Satan enters into him, and he goes away to give up his Lord. Here again Christ falls back upon the fact that the Scriptures must be fulfilled. "The Son of Mankind is indeed going away according as it is written concerning Him, yet woe to that man through whom the Son of Mankind is being given up! Ideal were it for Him if that man were not born!" (Mark 14:21, Matt. 26:24).
No man is "responsible" for his own birth. "To be or not to be" is not a problem for a creature. The Creator has kept such matters under His own control. Hence He alone is "responsible". If it were good for Judas never to have been born, the only one to be blamed is the One Who alone could foresee his career and prevent his birth. Yet He, on the contrary, predicted his course and made his birth inevitable. God's Word would have been found untrue if Judas had never been born. Hence it was good for God that Judas was born. And what glorifies God is always a blessing to His creatures. It is good for us that Judas was born
However difficult it may be to understand, we cannot question the guilt of Judas. On the other hand we know that the doors of Heaven would have remained closed had Judas not betrayed Jesus.
Blessings come through doors, we forgot we left open.