By Fr. Roy Cimagala
AS we all know, Christ knew that he was going to be betrayed by one of his apostles but did not do anything to stop it or even just to avoid it. He went ahead with it because as he said, “I am telling you before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe that I AM.” (Jn 13,19)
In other words, the betrayal was part of God’s plan for the completion of Christ’s mission here on earth, that is, our own salvation. While what Judas did was definitely wrong, we, according to the late Pope Benedict XVI in one of his addresses about Judas in 2006, cannot and should not “judge his gesture, putting ourselves in the place of God, who is infinitely merciful and just.”
Pope Benedict continued by saying that the “negative role” of Judas was an occasion for “the total donation of the Son for the redemption of the world.” And from this observation, the late Pope drew a final lesson that can be learned. And that is that “if even in the Church there is no lack of unworthy and false Christians, it is up to each of us to counterbalance the evil they commit with our own clear witness of Jesus Christ.”
Thus, to be a clear witness of Jesus Christ, we should always play the role of being a servant and a messenger of God through Christ, just as Christ himself acted as a servant and messenger of his Father for our own good, for our own salvation.
That is why Christ repeated so many times that he who sees and listens to him sees and listens to God himself. And if we follow Christ to the point of becoming like him, then anyone who sees and listens to us sees and listens to Christ and to the Father.
We need to be more aware of this responsibility of ours to be like Christ in being a servant and messenger of his Father God who is also our Father. While we may enjoy some privileged positions in the world, we should never forget that we are meant to be a servant and a messenger insofar as our relationship with God through Christ is concerned.
We have to be wary of our tendency to easily fall into pride, vanity and conceit whenever we enjoy special status in our life here on earth. We should strengthen and continue reinforcing our conviction that we are actually nothing without God and that we need to continually keep an intimate relationship with Christ in the Holy Spirit.
We have to make some readjustments in our understanding of being a servant and a messenger. It should not be pegged only on some worldly and temporal standards. Rather, it should be understood in the context of the role of Christ in our life, he who is the “way, truth and life” for us.
To be sure, understanding being a servant and messenger that way would never be regarded as some kind of downgrading our status. Rather, it would lead us to realize that we are achieving the fullness of our dignity as the “image and likeness” of God, children of his, meant to share in God’s very own life that is supernatural.
If this truth of our faith is clear in our mind, there is no doubt that we would be most eager to become servants and messengers of God through Christ in the Holy Spirit!