There is a Holy Week litany which asks, Judas, are you here? Judas is remembered for betraying Jesus for 30 pieces of silver and then hanging himself. There is also a stream of belief that Judas did this out of devotion and faithfulness; that it was necessary so that Jesus’ mission could be fulfilled.
When we think of Judas as a betrayer, the case can be made that Judas betrayed Jesus because Jesus did not fulfill Judas’ expectations of a Messiah. Perhaps Judas was looking for more of a political rebel as a Messiah. More of a fighter. Someone who would take up arms and challenge Roman rule, then set himself and his friends up in positions of power. Then, when Jesus did not meet Judas’ expectations, Judas betrayed him. That is the customary view. And it has insights for us, even if we don’t see Judas that way.
We may feel that our faith is not strong. That is does not make enough of a difference in our lives. Maybe we feel that we are not making enough of a difference in the world. Perhaps we wish we were closer to God. We may have these disappointments because we feel our expectations are not being met. But maybe the problem is our expectations. Maybe what we think we want is not what is best for us, or what is needed by the world, or what is truly consistent with the way of Christ, or fitting for our circumstances. Maybe we are disappointed because what we are hoping for is not what we need.
Our faith could be offering us wonderful experiences, amazing new life, and exciting transformation, but we could be missing it all because it is not what we are looking for or expecting.
This Holy Week is a time to let ourselves be surprised and stunned by Love.
It can be very hard to follow. We want to lead. We want to be in control. We think we know best. This Holy Week, may we open ourselves to the leading of Divine Love even when it leads us to the cross and beyond. Amen.