Jesus Betrayed by a Kiss from Judas

Source: THE SCHOOL OF JESUS CRUCIFIED, Fr. Ignatius of the Side of Jesus,
TAN BOOKS, with Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, 1895


1. OUR Blessed Jesus, after the bloody sweat, by which He was greatly exhausted, rises from prayer, and with admirable courage advances to meet Judas, who at the head of a land of armed men is already approaching the garden, to betray his Master, and deliver Him up into the hands of His cruel enemies: "Arise," He says to His disciples, "let us go; behold the traitor is at hand. There is no time for sleeping." My soul, what is the source of this courage in Jesus? Prayer. Prayer it is that has filled His soul with heavenly fortitude, and imbued Him with strength to triumph over every difficulty in the obeying of His Father's Will. Behold the example which you have to follow. Do you feel any repugnance in overcoming yourself? Do you fear suffering? Do you tremble at the thought of penance? Have recourse to prayer, and then say to your timid shrinking heart, "Arise, let us go to combat our enemies. Let us mortify this passion, let us pardon that injury. Jesus resisted even unto blood in overcoming His difficulties, it is right that we should follow His example." The more constant you are in the practice of virtue, the more easily will you resist temptation, and very speedily all your sadness and sorrow of heart will be dispelled, if you fortify your soul by prayer.

2. Judas had said to the soldiers, "Whomsoever I shall kiss, that is He, hold Him fast." Conformably to his agreement, the traitor draws nigh to Jesus, for the purpose of embracing Him, salutes Him, throws his arms round His neck, calls Him Master, and imprints a kiss upon His sacred face. My soul, give one glance at Judas. Of how many crimes is he not guilty in this single kiss! What execrable perfidy, to make use of the sweetest mark of peace and friendship as a signal of betrayal! What hatred of the blackest die, affectionately to salute Jesus at the very instant of delivering Him up into the hands of His enemies! How atrocious an insult! To call Him Master for whose blood and for whose death he is thirsting! Good God! By what means can Judas have fallen so low? Judas the Apostle, the familiar friend of Christ, the witness of His miracles, His disciple, His companion at the same board! Ah, into what excesses may not, and does not a ruling passion lead us! It blinds our eyes, hardens our hearts, perverts our reason, and finally conducts us even to the depth of iniquity. If you do not early restrain your passions, you will surely fall very speedily into the most fearful crimes.

3. There is no trial more painful to a feeling heart than to be betrayed, and there never has been more frightful treachery than that of Judas, and yet observe with what meekness and patience Jesus submits to what is a source of such acute sorrow to His tender Heart. He repels not that unnatural monster of ingratitude, but receives him with humility and sweetness, and embraces him with every demonstration of the most ardent charity. He selects this last moment to bestow upon His betrayer the tenderest additional proofs of unbounded love, and by the interior movements of His grace and exterior demonstrations of friendship, He calls, invites, and urges him to repent and be converted. Oh, charity of my Jesus! When will you also learn not to resent an offense, and not to be so unforgiving toward those who offend you? When will you learn from the example of Jesus to bear patiently any trifling injury?

   Jesus answers the traitor who is making such an assault upon His sacred Person, calls him His friend, assures him of His love by His encouraging language, and offers him His pardon and friendship. "Friend," He says, with ineffable sweetness, "whereto art thou come? Dost thou betray the Son of Man with a kiss? But Judas is as a deaf man, and persists in his crime. How many times, when you have been on the point of committing sin, has Jesus most lovingly called you by name, and said to your heart, "Son dost thou betray Me thus? What harm have I done thee that thou shouldst thus offend Me?" But you were as a deaf man, and continued in sin. Weep over your ingratitude, and return to Jesus.

The Fruit

   Do not flatter yourself that you love God, if you allow any passion to predominate in your soul. Examine this day what your predominant passion is; resolve to overcome it at any cost, and to resist all its unjust pretensions. Ask God's pardon for the ingratitude with which you have frequently corresponded so ill with His loving inspirations, and in time of temptation; or when in danger of committing sin, imagine that you hear Jesus saying to you, "Wilt thou betray Me thus?" and you will never have heart to offend so good a Father.


   In the midst of your occupations, and even of your amusements, you may keep up in your heart a lively remembrance of the sufferings of Jesus Christ. St. Philip Neri used frequently to take several youths to an open spot, where they could recreate their minds with some innocent amusements, which he himself would set on foot; and then he would retire aside to read or meditate on some point of the Passion out of a little book which contained the whole history, and which he was accustomed to carry about with him. What is there to prevent you also from retiring at least into the recesses of your heart from time to time, to bestow one look of love and compassion upon your suffering Jesus?