We all know who Judas Iscariot was. For thirty pieces of silver, he betrayed his friend Jesus Christ. For three years he had followed this man, yet in spite of being his apostle he did not truly know him. We cannot know for sure what prompted this betrayal. We all tend to think if we were in such a situation, we would never do such a thing. How could he? This was the Savior, the Messiah. Judas was in the midst of God. It all seems so clear to us. Whatever the motive of Judas – greed, power, fear – we can safely assume its roots were in self love.
After the arrest of Jesus, Judas realized what he had done. He finally understood who Jesus was — life itself. We are told he repented and brought back the thirty pieces of silver saying, “I have sinned in betraying innocent blood” (Matt 27:4), but the chief priests and elders said, “What is that to us? See to it thyself.” (Matt 27:5) At that, Judas flung the silver pieces into the temple, withdrew “and went away and hanged himself with a halter.” (Matt 27:5)
What was Judas’ biggest sin? Most of us would say the betrayal of Jesus. But this is not so. Judas despaired. Even after living with Jesus for 3 years, hearing Him preach and witnessing his miracles, Judas still didn’t believe that the unlimited love and mercy of God was bigger than any sin he committed. Had he only gone to Jesus in his sorrow and repentance he would have been forgiven. He believed in and hated himself more than he believed in Jesus. He thought that he had committed the unforgivable sin. He thought he was God. He doubted Jesus’ love for him.
Like Judas, all too often, we who are post abortive believe that we too have committed the unforgivable sin. It is hard for us to imagine God taking us in His arms and saying, “Your sins are forgiven you.” Often even if we have gone to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we still leave feeling unforgiven. How can forgiveness be possible when we are responsible for the death of our very own children? What sin could be worse?
The key to this unfathomable forgiveness and mercy is the knowledge of Jesus Christ who is living in our midst as well … a knowing that his ways are not our ways and that his mercy and love are truly bigger than any sin we are capable of committing. It is a firm belief in His promises. It is a forgiveness of ourselves because to do less would be an insult to God. It is loving Him more than ourselves because He is God and “worthy of all our love.” If He can really forgive us, who are we to deny ourselves that forgiveness.
Like Judas, most of us were blinded by our own fears, need for control and self love when we made our abortion decision, and like Judas, many of us have lived with the despair that has come after the death of our child.
We have seen and felt the changes in ourselves. The depression, the anxiety, the suicidal ideation, the panic attacks. Some of us have become addicted to drugs or have turned to a promiscuous lifestyle. We have experienced the inability to be come intimate with others, the fear of loving because we deem ourselves unlovable. We have even distanced ourselves from other children we have fearing inside of ourselves that we are not worthy to have them or perhaps that they too will come to harm by us.
Most of us do not realize why we are feeling this way for a very long time. Sometimes it is 20 or more years after the actual procedure before we connect our pain with our abortion. Most often it is only brought to the surface through dealing with another problem we may have, whether it’s an addiction, marital or relationship problems or some other motivating factor.
If we are one of the ones lucky enough to recognize the effects of the abortion on our lives from the start, we are doomed to live in denial by the mere fact that our society as a whole refuses to recognize our pain. Society says to us, like the Chief Priests and Elders said to Judas, “What is that to us … see to it thyself.”
We are told by hose advocating abortion that it is “our right”, that every child should be a “wanted” child. We are taught to see abortion as a good for women, and even if we thought it was wrong and we would never have one, some of us have turned to it in desperation wanting to believe the lie.
We are told there is no such thing as post abortion trauma and we often fear voicing our feeling because that would mean something else was wrong with us. We are confused by this “right” that becomes such a shame after we have consented to it. After all, abortion is supposed to be okay.
Even the pro-life movement, though well intentioned, oftentimes does not understand.
In our healing through God’s grace, united with Him and our children once again, we can experience the truth Unlike Judas, may we each open ourselves to the love and forgiveness of God who longs to bring us to Himself.