Judas and the Thief
One curious aspect to all the Holy Week serivces that I have noticed is the sort of juxtapostion we get between Judas and the Good Thief. I suppose it ought not to suprise us for we sing the hymn (or say the prayer) at every Liturgy in which we say "neither will I give Thee a kiss as did Judas, but like the thief will I confess Thee..."
Little grace or explanation is bestowed to Judas, which is odd...in our modern times we have a tendency to sympathize with him (did Andrew Lloyd Weber innovate this? I dunno) or at least to explain why he did what he did: he thought he was expediating the Messiah's liberation of Israel by instigating a confrontation with the authorities. Do we discern this from the Gospels? Anyway, these ancient hymns of the Church paint a different picture: love of money. On more than one occassion the betrayal is connected to Judas' complaint that money was wasted in the expensive oil used for anointing Jesus at Bethany. Recall Judas thinks that the money could have been better spent on the poor? Who of us has not said something similar or could not imagine us saying something like this?
I definately felt the gentle lecture inherent in many of the songs and prayers telling me to NOT be like Judas, but to be like the thief. We know so little about the thief...he was a guilty man, he was a dying man, and he was a man pleading for God's mercy. I guess I can relate...but I still am rather fond of money. I need to recognize that I am on that cross next to Jesus, what need did the thief have for such a thing as money?
Lord, remember me in Your Kingdom
...offered by Dn. James Ferrenberg, a sinner at 12:54 PM [+]