Today, I celebrate Judas Iscariot for being a rare fellow and a specially gifted being. I celebrate him for his bravery and ability to do things that others will never dare or think of doing.
Today, I celebrate Judas Iscariot for mastering the skills of standing ALONE, for coming up with a game plan on how to betray his master ALONE, and for executing the plan ALONE and no one else among the group knew or even suspected. His master only knew because he is God that knows everything even before they happen, or else, no one including his master would have known.
Today, I celebrate him for having this special spirit in him that does not get moved by anything. For the record, Judas listened to Jesus all the times he preached. He saw all the miracles he performed. He listened to Peter as he called him ‘Lord’ when Jesus asks “who do people say I am?” He watched Jesus raise the dead to life, the cripple from the ground, and how water suddenly turned into wine. He participated in sharing the multiplied five loaves and two fish to the five thousand men, not counting women and children. He joined in collecting 12 baskets of leftover. Yet, he remained untouched and unmoved. Is there any gift greater than the ability to stay with Jesus for three years and remain unmoved?
It can only take a special gift, a special spirit, for one to look Jesus into his eyes and give him a kiss which signifies love when what he carries in his heart is hate. A kiss which signifies life when what he carries in his heart is dead. A kiss that signifies friendship when what he carries in his heart is betrayal
This spirit in Judas is a special spirit – it is the spirit of Iscariotism. It is the spirit that makes you think you are wise when in actual sense you are foolish; it makes you think that you are brave when actually you are stupid. Let us celebrate his foolishness. It is epic.
To all those possessed with the spirit of Iscariotism, today is also your day. Your patron ‘saint’ Judas Iscariot must be proud of you for keeping up his legacy.
You have been in a relationship for more than six years now. You kept promising this person’s marriage. Every day you tell each other how deep love is growing. You hug and kiss the person like it is from your heart. Then, suddenly you broke up with the person, and in two weeks’ time, your marriage invitation card to another person is out. How did you do it? How were you able to hug, tell love stories, and keep a straight face when actually you were planning marriage with another person? Judas Iscariot must be proud of you.
You walk around well packaged. When people see you they think they are seeing a living saint. Nobody will ever believe that you are worst compared to the so-called ‘greatest sinner’. You have mastered the skills of pretense, of false holiness, yet your heart is rotten like a decaying corpse. Judas Iscariot must be proud of you for taking his legacy to another level.
You come to Church every day, you listen to the word of God every day, you receive the Eucharist every day, yet your life is not changed. You still continue in your evil ways. No effort at all to change. Who else should we think could be your mentor? Judas stayed with Jesus for three years and remained unmoved, I am sure he will be proud of you for continuing what he started.
Today, may God remove the spirit of Iscariotism in our church, in our society, in our country, in our world! May we never have anything serious to do with people who are possessed with the spirit of Iscariotism and are not willing to let the spirit leave them – keep them far away from us O Lord
By Fr. Kelvin Ugwu.