"Jesus grew deeply troubled. He went on to give this testimony: 'I tell you solemnly, one of you will betray Me.' " —John 13:21
Jesus loved Judas unconditionally. Jesus symbolized His sacrificial love for Judas by washing Judas' feet (Jn 13:5ff). Jesus showed His love for Judas with a personal touch by giving Judas a select morsel at the Last Supper (Jn 13:26). Jesus even died on the cross for Judas, His betrayer.
"It is rare that anyone should lay down his life for a just man, though it is barely possible that for a good man someone may have the courage to die. It is precisely in this that God proves His love for us: that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Rm 5:7-8). Jesus proved His love for us by loving unconditionally Judas, His enemies, and us. We can prove our love for the Lord likewise by loving our betrayers and enemies. Peter and the other apostles sincerely believed that they had a deep relationship with the Lord. They said they would die for Jesus (see Jn 13:37; 11:16; Mk 14:31). However, they had deceived themselves regarding the depth of their relationships with the Lord.
We likewise can be fooling ourselves about any of our relationships, including the one with the Lord. However, if we are loving the Judases in our lives as Jesus loved Judas Iscariot, we each must have a deep, authentic relationship with the Lord, or we wouldn't accept God's grace to love the most unlovable. Maybe this is why Jesus lets betrayers like Judas be part of our lives.
To love Judas is to authenticate our love for Jesus. Love Judas.
Prayer: Father, thank you for my enemies and for the miracle of my loving them.
Promise: "It is too little, He says, for you to be My servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob and restore the survivors of Israel; I will make You a light to the nations, that My salvation may reach to the ends of the earth." —Is 49:6
Praise: An envious co-worker made threats against Joseph, so Joseph, in imitation of his Master, prayed for him.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, October 9, 2003
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 14, 2003