Choosing the better part

Choosing the better part

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Judas' Communion

By his betrayal Judas has excluded himself from communion with the Lord.  He becomes poorer still by rejecting not only the Lord but also the community.  Though the rest of the disciples give now a pitiful impression with their denials and their flight, the Lord nevertheless lives in them, and they are somehow on his side in spite of everything.  The Lord feels in himself that he is in communion with them.  The disciples are unaware that in every Communion they also contribute a share to the miracle.  The miracle that the Lord implants in them is at the same time a miracle they obtain in the Lord.  The miracle of that faith that moves mountains through them in the Lord.  The miracle draws strength also from them.  They are for the Lord what the Lord was for the woman with the issue of blood who touched him.  A power goes out from them into the Lord.  Even though this power can scarcely be a real, positive factor.

When a Christian receives Communion, an intimate relationship is formed between him and the Lord: the Lord lives in him, something of him lives in the Lord.  But no one communicates privately; the Church communicates in him.   Something new of the Lord begins to live in the Church, and something of the Church lives newly in him.  And at the same time: when a person communicates and the Lord gives and receives in him communion with the Church, something of this comes alive in every fellow communicant, even every fellow believer.  With every individual Communion, a strong pulsation goes through the communion of saints to the Lord and returns from him again.

When a person separates himself from the Church, therefore, there are unforeseeable consequences.  Judas' Communion was not only an "unworthy Communion", it was a desecration, a sacrilege, because he rejected faith in Christ's presence in the bread, faith in the power of his love.  Exteriorly receiving like the others, he rejects what he receives.  The miracle of the Eucharist consists not only in the transformation of the bread but also in the Lord's giving the recipient a faith enabling him to receive him.  A faith that submits to the word of the Eucharist.  Judas' betrayal, however, kills the miracle of the word in himself.  It is not true to say that nothing happened when he received.  The fact is that what would take place in the immeasurable grace of union if he had faith now takes place in the immeasurable estrangement of evil.

"The Passion from within"
Adrienne Von Speyr

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