“So often we want Jesus to manage the effects of sin without actually addressing the root issue. But Jesus loves us too much to offer only a superficial solution. He knows the hidden sins of our hearts, and He lovingly insists on dealing with those first.” ~
There are things that all of us keep deep within ourselves because we are too afraid or embarrassed to acknowledge them. However, if we do not deal with them, they can easily steer us and influence our decisions. A case in point in today’s liturgy may very well be Judas Iscariot. He was, from all reports, a faithful Zealot who was, along with the rest of the Zealots, waiting for the Messiah. Unfortunately, Jesus did not measure up to the Zealots’ ideas of a Messiah.
Judas, someone who longed for the deliverance of his people, decided that Jesus had to be dealt with. Judas “went to the chief priests and said, ‘What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?’ They paid him thirty pieces of silver, and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.” Mt 26:14
On this last full day of Lent, we are reminded that while we may have worked hard throughout this season, there may be more that we need to do in order to rid ourselves of the sin that keeps us from God. Some of the sin we may have addressed these past weeks could best be described as surface sins. We may have dealt quite well with those.
Ciuciu might say to us, “What about those sins that are at the very root of our being? They need to be brought to light. They need to be addressed.” Maybe we are aware of some of those sins that are buried deep within. Maybe we have done our best to skirt around them because they appeared too complicated or too unpleasant to handle. God wants us to deal with them.
It is only when we can root out as much of the sin within us as possible that our souls stand a chance. Think of the times that you might have had an infection. Maybe you had an infected tooth. Maybe a sliver had embedded under your skin. Maybe a toenail had become ingrown.
What happened in those situations? The infection caused a lot of pus to gather inside causing mild discomfort or even great pain. Unless the infection was dealt with, the infection could have spilled over into the blood and spread throughout our system in sepsis. If left unchecked, the infection could have caused something to be amputated at best or death at worst.
Sin, left unchecked, is like that infection that begins to spread. If our deep-seated sin is not addressed, the infection to our soul can harm us or even kill us. It could throw a soul so off course as to lose heaven.
I am sure that none of us would say that we would ever deny the Lord or sell Him out. I am just as certain that Judas said that about himself as well. Yet look what happened. Because things were left unchecked, he sold Jesus to the authorities for thirty pieces of silver. It was an act that brought him to a bitter end of life in his suicide. It was also an act that could have been prevented if Judas had truly come to know and accept Jesus. Let’s learn from his sad story lest it become our own.
FAITH ACTION: Ask God to illumine those darker places in your heart that you still need to examine and change.