May 8, 2011
3rd EASTER SUNDAY
God does not give up on those who leave Him. He does not give up on two disciples of Jesus who run away from Jerusalem to Emmaus, frightened by everything that is happening – not only Jesus’ Passion, but also the message from the women saying that Jesus was raised from the dead. Two frightened disciples; Cleophas and his friend, realize that the whole army of Pharisees and High Priests is going to spring into action. It is hard to imagine what will be happening in Jerusalem. Isn’t throwing in jail or perhaps even murdering all of Jesus' disciples going to be the first thing to happen? So the easiest thing to do is to escape from Jerusalem, even if just to Emmaus.
And God sends Jesus to accompany them. And in fact, Jesus appears and explains to them the Holy Scriptures and what is written in them about Him.
A question arises: Why wasn’t God gracious to Judas? If God’s forgiven them, then why not forgive him? Why of course! Matthew says: When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people conferred together against Jesus in order to bring about his death. They bound him, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate the governor. When Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he repented and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. He said, "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood. "But they said, "What is that to us? See to it yourself." Throwing down the pieces of silver in the temple, he departed.” So much from Matthew.
And Luke in the Acts of the Apostles quotes St. Peter: “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through the mouth of David concerning Judas. He served as guide for those who arrested Jesus for he was one of our number and shared in this ministry. Now this man Judas acquired a field with the reward of his unjust deed, and falling headfirst he burst open in the middle and all his intestines gushed out." And so, according to Luke, Judas had an accident.
Why didn’t Judas come back to the Apostles? Maybe he was so ashamed of what he had done that he was not able to look them in the eye? He stayed alone; but reformed.