Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Jesus of Nazareth 3 - The wrong kind of remorse

Pope Benedict reflects on what happens to Judas in betraying Jesus:

He has come under the dominion of another. Anyone who breaks off friendship with Jesus, casting off his "easy yoke", does not attain liberty, does not become free, but succumbs to other powers. To put it another way, he betrays this friendship because he is in the grip of another power to which he has opened himself.

True, the light shed by Jesus into Judas' soul was not completely extinguished. He does take a step toward conversion: "I have sinned", he says to those who commissioned him. He tries to save Jesus, and he gives the money back. Everything pure and great that he had received from Jesus remained inscribed on his soul - he could not forget it.

His second tragedy - after the betrayal - is that he can no longer believe in forgiveness. His remorse turns to despair. Now he sees only himself and his darkness; he no longer sees the light of Jesus, which can illumine and overcome the darkness... Genuine remorse is marked by the certainty of hope born of faith in the superior power of the light that was made flesh in Jesus.

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