Judas is always around

        Friends in Christ,  very often, I hear people who are shocked and saddened by so many evils going on in the world today.  Our government’s pressure on the church, society’s promotion of the gay-lifestyle; heart-break over irreligious children, so many things.  Yet we should note that from the earliest times of the apostles, there, in the heart of the Church, was Judas.   
         St. Augustine says[i] that in seeing Judas,  we are taught the duty of tolerating wicked people,  lest we divide the body of Christ.   St. Augustine is saying, that while we sometimes must tell someone they are sinning, – we try to guide the sinner –  yet most of the time we must be patient; we must tolerate evil for the good of the whole.[ii]  
         Advisors urged Pope John Paul II to correct and discipline more people who dissented against the Faith; they wanted him to bring down the hammer. He did discipline some; but often not.  He said, ‘We must wait for the situation to mature.’ Because he was thinking of the whole Body of Christ.  
        So there are times when what God wants,  is for us to tolerate the wicked;  yes, pray for he or she, of course – but it is not always the time to chastise. Often patience is called for, as was Jesus with Judas.  
        When the Samaritans were not welcoming Christ, John said: ‘Lord, let’s call down fire from heaven on them.’ ‘You do not know what kind of spirit you are,’ he said.  There must be patience with evil.  
        Jesus was patient with Judas.  He knew from the start what he was, and what he was doing.  He knew that he often stole money from the purse, he knew he would betray him. But he allowed it.  ‘Allow the weeds to grow with the wheat, he says; if you pull up the weeds, you may hurt the wheat.   
        I have seen some people become so upset with the sins  of others, that in their anger and lack of charity, they themselves commit sin. St. Augustine says: ‘tolerate the wicked, you who are good, that you may not fall into the punishment of the wicked.’  
        There are many times when, for the good of peace in the family, in the Church, in society – we have to tolerate the wicked, with patience.  Why did the Lord tolerate a thief like Judas? To show that his Church should tolerate sinners, while she suffers for them.[iii]   
        We have to be patient with sinners, because the Lord has been patient with us. We will see how patient he is with us, on Good Friday.    


[i] Catena

[ii] See also Summa Theo. II, II, Q43 on passive scandal.

[iii] Augustine, Catena

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