Celebrating the patronal feast of our parish, I found myself thinking about several strands of the Good News communicated in the lessons for today.
- The choosing of a subsitute for Judas points to the significance - for Jesus and for the apostolic community - of Twelve. Not merely as a parallel to the Twelve Tribes, but as a sign of fullness. As in the parables of sheep and coins, having the full number is important.
- Whatever else may be said about Judas, it seems clear that he was unwilling to abide in the all-embracing love of Jesus. Perhaps he was unhappy that Jesus was willing to include in the community folks that Judas thought unworthy. Perhaps he saw what we often fail to see - that abiding in that love means walking the way of the cross.
- When Paul wrote to the church at Philippi about those who were enemies of the cross of Christ, he wrote to them in tears. I hope that there were tears in the apostolic community over the loss of Judas, a companion with them during Jesus' ministry. I hope that our communities of faith grieve over those who have slipped away.