As we approach Maundy Thursday my thoughts always turn to Judas. Castigated over the years he is the disciple no one wants to be. To my knowledge he is the only disciple who was not beatified. Was his role in the passion misunderstood? Did he privately confer with Jesus and do God’s bidding by enabling the prophecies to be fulfilled? These type of questions could go on and on, but all we know is he ended his life soon after Jesus’s Crucifixion. So it is all speculation. However as I reread the story of the last supper another thought struck me. Judas participated in the bread and wine of the first Eucharist. He wasn’t excluded.
What is the significance? I think we can glean another aspect of Jesus’s character and God’s from this inclusion. Jesus sent Judas on his way having forgiven the betrayal, before it had even occurred. Judas carried with him the symbolic body and blood of Christ with him even as he betrayed him and later ended his life. I would like to think that no matter how the world and his fellow disciples treated him he carried with him the remembrance of a friend that forgave him despite his betrayal. That he found comfort in this.
I have certainly done my share sinning, we all have. But we can look to Judas and the other disciples behavior at the end of Jesus’s life as examples of betrayal, denial, and avoidance. Yet, they ultimately found comfort in the remembrance of God. We recieve that same comfort.