MEDITATION ON OUR LORD'S PASSION: Meditation Of The Death Of Judas.
Betrayal of Judas (detail)
THE 18. Meditation of the death of Judas.
Then Judas, who had betrayed him, seeing that he was condemned, repenting himself brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the high Priests, and to the Elders, saying: I have sinned, betraying just blood: But they said, what is that to us? Look you to it.
Consider first that Judas hearing of the condemnation of Christ by the high Priests, being led by repentance, either good, through the greatness of his offense, or false; through the shame, whereby he thought he should never be able to endure the reproaches, which would insue, brought again the money. This also was permitted by God, whereby the innocency of Christ might be manifested to all men, least the Jews by this argument might confirm the death of our Lord to be just because his inward disciple, who knew all secrets had delivered him up to them to die. But Judas betrayed out Lord, not that Christ should die, but because he would have the money, hoping that as at divers times before, so at this time also our Lord might escape. Learn first the innocency of our Lord, which the Traitor himself confessed openly, with most earnest words, and by throwing down of the money. Secondly the bitter torments four Lord, which moved the very Traitor to repentance. Thirdly the qualities of the Devil, who bewitched our eyes, before the sin be committed, least we should see the foulness thereof; but after the sin, he openeth the same, that we should despair.
Consider secondly the answer of the Priests (What is that to us) Peter after his sin committed, went out from the company of the wicked, and obtained pardon: Judas contrariwise came to the wicked, & fell into desperation. Learn hereby that they which offend the Majesty of God because they may have the favor of other men, are after forsaken by them, & that always after this life, when every one shall bear his own burden, and often times also even in this life.
Consider thirdly the grievous burden of an evil conscience, which feared neither shame nor death. Do thou lamenting for thy sins, say with Judas, I have sinned, betraying just blood: which is to say, I have through my sins cast oftentimes from my self the passion of Christ, which was given me for my souls health. But trusting in the mercy of Christ, despair not, but in thy prayer add this, O Lord restore it thou unto me, that it may profit my soul.
Consider fourthly, that it is manifest by the answer of the Priests, that Christ died not for any fault committed by himself, but of mere malice & envy. For this (what is that to us) is a much to say, it skilleth not, whether he die justly or unjustly, so he die.
Consider fifthly, (look thou to that) evil men give only matter of despair : Learn thereby first the disposition of wicked superiors, who care not how their subjects live, so as they may enjoy their own profit, and pleasure. Learn secondly, to suffer with the afflicted, and to comfort them, at least with good words, if otherwise thou art not able. Learn thirdly in they afflictions, not to repair to every one, but to seek out those, whose God hath appointed to be the guiders of thy soul, & are commended for their life and wisdom.
Fr. Francis Costerus S.J. 1616
Fr. Francis Costerus S.J. 1616