Our wedding, on May 20, 1961, was the first wedding in ordinary course at the Chapel. There had been a couple of war-time weddings, but the Chapel was not permitted to hold regular weddings. (I believe local parishes feared losing business). Anne and I wanted to be married there and so I wrote a lawyer’s brief to the archbishop arguing my case.
My mind frequently wanders in church. Shocker, I know. In quiet moments of trying to be prayerful, my train of thought often strays, and like a dog that sneaks out the front door, it's at least a block away before I notice and grab the leash. Since graduating from Yale in May, one of its favorite destinations is, ironically, another church: Saint Thomas More, the Catholic Chapel & Center at Yale University.
John tells us that the Father put everything into the power of the Christ. God, after creating the world in love, handed over the world to His Son so that it might be saved by love. And Jesus, with the entire world in His hands, placed Himself at the feet of His disciples. Jesus knew that He had come from God and was returning to God. Still, He did not remove Himself from the world. Rather, He immersed Himself in it. No filth was too great for Him to wash away; no task was too lowly for Him to take upon Himself. He gave of Himself and asked only for love in return.
The Gospels do not tell us much about why Judas betrays Jesus. Over the centuries, many theologians and artists have offered their own explanations. Perhaps Judas grows impatient with Jesus’s style of ministry, expecting something bolder with quicker results. Maybe he realizes that Jesus’s clash with worldly powers would inevitably end tragically and wants to avoid the consequences. Or perhaps, in a moment of weakness, the thirty pieces of silver seem worth the cost. We do not know Judas’s intentions, but we do see that his decision leads him to further lies, deception, and regret.