Colleen Mallette uses Judas as an example of what can happen when you let doubts fester inside too long.
For anyone listening to the highly-rated podcast, The Bible In A Year with Fr. Mike Schmitz, you heard the Gospel of John a couple of weeks ago. While reading from chapter 13, Fr. Mike reflected on the betrayal of Jesus at the Last Supper.
When Jesus declares that He knows He is about to be betrayed, the disciples all look around at each other and seem absolutely incredulous that any one of the 12 men would actually do that.
They all question Jesus and say “Surely not I,” while also implying surely not anyone here would do such a thing!
These dozen men have spent almost three years together travelling and eating and sleeping with Jesus and one another. They have gotten to know each other so well and formed such a bond. They support Jesus’ mission and try to learn from Him and protect Him every day. They have just witnessed His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, where everyone was cheering and praising Him, making them feel excited and thrilled to be considered one of His chosen apostles. And they had just experienced the humbling act of their leader getting down on His knees to wash their dirty feet, which also brought them closer together.
The thought of one of their close-knit group turning this amazing man in to the opposing authorities and ending their time together and His wonderful ministry was certainly heart-breaking to them. None of them wanted to think it was themselves, nor could they imagine who among them it might have been.
Fr. Mike’s theory was that Judas must have led a secretive second life if no one suspected him. Going to the Pharisees and offering to turn Jesus in without anyone knowing he did that was one thing. But even harboring these doubts deep inside without his travelling friends knowing how he felt is another. How could he have not been happy with Jesus and let the devil implant such desires, all while keeping it to himself?
The next point Fr. Mike made was how sad it was for Judas, because if he had only talked to one other person about his doubts, even to Jesus, he would’ve never betrayed Him, and consequently he would not have taken his own life. All he had to do was mention to one of his friends his concerns about Jesus’ path and they certainly would have found a way to calm his fears. Imagine how differently things would have turned out if Judas would have just talked to someone about how he felt (even though Jesus was fulfilling His mission and would have found a way somehow, Judas could have been spared).
This can apply to us too. If we are having doubts about anything, it helps to talk it out with God or a trusted friend. Whether it be spiritual, relational, or whatever, discussing it instead of keeping it inside and letting it fester and escalate interiorly is not healthy. It's OK to have questions and concerns, and those can even help our growth as a person. But ruminating over hurts and doubts over and over without a positive insight will not bring resolution or growth.
Our faith is a beautiful thing. It can calm all fears and bring us peace in all circumstances. Daily prayer can aid in bringing about that peace. As well as having a healthy, honest relationship with a spiritual mentor. A visit to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and sharing with your priest could really bring insight and comfort. Daily reading of Scripture is also very helpful.
Don’t let fears overcome your faith. Don’t be like Judas, who kept these doubts in his mind and could have found peace and understanding by sharing them.
As Fr. Mike said, we cannot hide our hearts from God, so we should be able to share everything with Him and reach out for His guidance and comfort. He desires an honest relationship with us. Don’t be afraid: tell Him right now what is weighing on your heart.
Copyright 2021 Colleen Mallette
Image: Pixabay (2020)
About the Author
Colleen is the proud mother of three young adults. She loves being a full-time stay-at-home mom and a part-time bookkeeper for her husband. She likes to read, write, scrapbook, and volunteer, and is excited to use her talents to share God’s love and the hope of His promises through CatholicMom.com. Colleen is co-author of “In Godʼs Hands, Miracles in the Lives of Moms” and blogs at Colleen's Contemplations.