The words of Our Lord today (https://universalis.com/mass.htm) are very powerful: “What you are going to do, do quickly” (John 13:27). Jesus knows that His hour is about to come come. The cup of suffering is awaiting him, the unspeakable pain of soul and body that He must undergo. “Do it quickly”: do not delay the supreme sacrifice that will unite heaven and earth. My Passion is about to begin.
There are few names which arouse an instinctive reaction of reprobation and condemnation. In all likelihood, no one ever gives names their son Judas (similarly, the name Adolf has practically disappeared throughout Europe in the last eighty years). The very meaning of the name "Iscariot" is controversial: the usual explanation is that it means "man from Queriyyot," in reference to his native village, located in the surroundings of Hebron, mentioned twice in sacred Scripture (cf. Joshua 15:25; Amos 2:2). It is sometimes also interpreted as a variation of the term "hired assassin," armed with a dagger, called "sica" in Latin. Others recognize in his name a Hebrew-Aramaic root that literally means: "He who was going to betray him." This mention is found twice in the fourth Gospel, that is, after a confession of faith by Peter (cf. John 6:71) and later during the anointing at Bethany (cf. John 12:4).
This Judas Iscariot has now received a morsel dipped in the dish and the evangelist adds laconically: "At that instant, after Judas had taken the bread, Satan entered him." As Pope Benedict XVI wrote in his Jesus of Nazareth: “Anyone who breaks off friendship with Jesus, casting off his ‘easy yoke’, does not attain liberty, does not become free, but succumbs to other powers. To put it another way, he betrays this friendship because he is in the grip of another power to which he has opened himself.”
Yet Judas still understands what he has done. The Light of the World in his soul has not been completely extinguished. He realizes that he has sinned, gives the money back, but it is too late. But his remorse is devoid of hope and he takes his own life.
Judas goes out — and there is night, not just in the literal sense. Judas moves out of light into darkness: the "power of darkness" has taken hold of him (cf. Jn 3:19; Lk 22:53).
We will never fully understand the motives of Judas. Why did he betray Jesus? Was it greed for money? Was he jealous of someone clearly more gifted and talented? Were there political reasons because Jesus was not the kind of Messiah he was expecting, one to lead an armed liberation of their country?
By all means, Judas was a very conflicted man who ended up doing something immensely horrible even if it may not have been his first intention.
But let us remember: Judas had a choice.
He was created with a free will to accept or reject God.
In his case, Judas chose self over God.
We too, have a choice.
By Fr Tomas