“And yet behold, the hand of the one who is to betray me is with me on the table; for the Son of Man indeed goes as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed.” And they began to debate among themselves who among them would do such a deed. (LK 22:21-23)
Jesus makes a startling revelation: One of those who just shared in the bread and the cup was going to betray him.
The disciples’ reaction reflects the horror of Christians ever since: “Who would do such a thing:”
While they’re saying this, Judas is sitting there holding inside what he had done a few days earlier: “Judas went to the chief priests… to discuss a plan for handing Jesus over to them. They were pleased and agreed to pay him money.” Good Lord, how it must have felt to have that awful truth twisting inside his stomach as Judas tried to look normal.
Too bad he didn’t know he was normal. He was a sinner, as I am. But there was still time. He could confess the awful truth. Why didn’t he? Telling even an awful truth is better than living a lie.
Maybe Judas lost his verve, or didn’t know how to say it, or to whom to say it. So he lived the lie that killed him.
Perhaps I’ve ha things inside me I didn’t know how or whom to tell. The sacrament of reconciliation began as a kind provision to enable sinners to tell the truth and find peace.
That’s still what it is.