Peter and Judas: An Interesting Comparison

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from The Passion of Christ According to the Four Evangelists
Thomas á Kempis

Peter did not fall into the deep pit of despair as did the unfortunate Judas, but he trusted in your continuing abundant mercy, which he had often experienced. Thus shedding sorrowful tears, he hastened to do penance, the saving rememdy for sin, and found the gate leading to infinite mercy wide open to him.

And Judas did not seek out this remedy. Surely Judas's crime was by far the greater, and yet the same gate of mercy swung wide for him. He was one of those Jesus trusted with the precious gift of His message, so surely he was assured a place among them even after his dastardly act. But Judas's public repudiation put him squarely in the eye of the world. He judged himself by the eyes looking in upon him (much as those unfortunates in Sartre's world of Huis Clos) and despaired because he could not rejoin the company. He so thoroughly believed the lies of the world that he condemned himself.

And yet it is my prayer that the love of Jesus redeemed him nevertheless. Jesus knew to the core the weakness of this vessel, and Judas fulfilled His every expectation. I pray that Judas had the grace of final repentance and has his seat among the twelve. (Though Dante would tell me otherwise.)

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I've read a couple of articles on this lately that were interesting. The book Divine Intimacy (highly recommended) points at the difference between Judas and Peter as being the interior life of pride vs. humility. Peter went to God on his knees and begged forgiveness. Fulton Sheen's life of Christ points out that Judas did repent in a way - he took back the silver - but his repentence didn't acknowledge his sins to God. Both are similar and fascinating.

I think the biggest lesson is that even those closest to God (the Apostles) had to be on their guard, so that they might finish the race. And I agree with Divine Intimacy in that it all comes down to the interior life.

God bless,

Jay you make 2 great points. It is all interior, and all must be constantly vigilant.
I don't think we can really know what the interior state of Judas was, at the end. (Although for purposes of comparison and contrast, lack of interior repentance is the obvious choice)
I pray with Steven that God was able to catch him in his great net of mercy, that Judas, at the last, was repentant. Even though a suicide, his mind was possibly/probably disordered, and he was distraught (which may argue against pride, dunno)
and God's mercy is wide and deep.



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on March 18, 2004 8:07 AM.

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