It seemed so easy to discuss the topic of betrayal as long as the pilgrims focused their attention on Judas. That universal bad guy. The ultimate betrayer. While the Gospel of Judas may try to do a "historical corrective," poor Judas' persona is set in the proverbial stone. Even the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar couldn't remove the stain of 2,000 years worth of bad press for the worse kiss in history.
But try and move the discussion away from a transference conversation into a personal mode of who screwed who, when; well that was almost impossible. Why is it so difficult to talk about being betrayed? Or worse still, the most obvious, is it even possible to talk about being the one who plants the wet kiss on a friend's cheek? Well, it's all too personal. And besides that, the issue of the "f" word always gets into the debate.
No, not that "f" word. I'm talking about Forgiveness. It's too hard to talk about forgiving and being forgiven or not forgiven.
To encounter the way too painful heart matter of betrayal in a manner that opens the wounds of reality and honesty, the faint notion of forgiving and being forgiven must surface. Surface, because forgiveness is suppressed out of hate, revenge or more often just for emotional survival.
So let's deflect for a minute. Did Jesus forgive Judas? Would you? Ok, never mind that second question. Back to the original. Did Judas receive Jesus' forgiveness? Maybe, that's two different questions. There is a difference between Jesus offering the forgiveness and Judas feeling forgiven. In that difference may lie our own issues with the slash of betrayal and the healing of forgiveness.
There are no easy answers. Only more complex questions. However, only when the questions are asked can the betrayed and the betrayer move one step closer to possibly embracing forgiving and being forgiven.
St Thomas' Community Garden gets grant
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