Healthy Repetition

Greetings on this the Feast of Saint Matthias, Apostle
Readings: Acts 1:15-17, 20-26; PS 113:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8; Jn 15:9-17
Note: The Feast of Matthias this year falls happily in the traditional period after the Ascension. This is not always the case as Easter is a movable solemnity and May 14th is fixed.

Unhealthy Repetition
When did Judas commit suicide?
Actually we really don’t know.
The account of the Gospel of Matthew and the Book of the Acts of the Apostles have differing vantage points. The manner of death is also not the same (hanging verses over a cliff).

Matthew places it immediately after the trial with the Sanhedrin and Jesus Before Pilate (Matt ch 26-27). They were preoccupied and so the appearance before the Chief Priest by Judas would have happened much later. Matthew uses a very complex combination of multiple prophet writings to give the story a scriptural basis.

Here is what we do know
By the time after the Ascension, Peter announces Judas’ death and the necessity of replacing him. Matthias is given his place among the Eleven to make the Twelve again.

From the text, Judas could have died:

  • After betrayal/Sanhedrin.
  • After Resurrection.
  • After Ascension.

From the text, Judas could have died:

  • in Deepest despair.
  • by Accidental fall.

It’s always worthwhile to take a pause and review what we know versus what we think we know.

We can be certain of this, Judas abandoned his role as an Apostle by his betrayal and subsequent unwillingness to reconcile. It is helpful to think about when resignation can occur:

  • After betrayal/Sanhedrin – regret he saw the maltreatment?
  • After Resurrection – Jesus may seek revenge on me?
  • After Ascension – Jesus left me forever, there is no hope of return?

Judas’ death could have been:

  • Deepest despair at the magnitude of his betrayal (consequences).
  • Accidental fall that is completely disconnected from his betrayal. That is a completely void conscience.

I agree not the most frequent of contemplations. But worthy to understand ourselves and to not be so quick to claim understanding of another or their state of being.

Gospel Portion
The gospel portion today we have repeated specifically 4 times in the past 9 days.

Clearly healthy repetition the Church wants to be sure before we return to ordinary time you know:

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love.

  • Keep the commandment to love.
  • You are a friend of God.
  • Live a life like mine, says the Lord.
  • This I command you: love one another.

Jesus is making clear to keep our focus on keeping our divine-human relationship healthy. Judas focused on himself as self, from self, for self.

Try to remember divine love is a gift to all regardless. We are all deniers or betrayers at one point or another. The point is to focus on the love that is God.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

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