I can always remember thinking as a kid that I never would have betrayed Jesus like Judas had done. I couldn’t understand how he could have made that choice. It all seemed so obvious.
Now, years later and hopefully wiser, I see that I am not so different than Judas. We both thought we knew better than Jesus.
Instead of trusting in the love Jesus had for him and believing Jesus had his best interest at heart, Judas took the situation at hand on himself. Jesus was not doing things the way Judas thought He should be and the Scribes and Pharisees were looking for someone to sell Jesus out. Judas fell right into their hands, betraying Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.
After the arrest, Judas felt instant remorse. The light went on and he realized what a grave mistake he had made. He realized he had sinned, “betraying innocent life.” Judas returned to the Scribes and Pharisees and gave them back the 30 pieces of silver, but they wanted no part of him anymore. They had accomplished what they had set out to do and now told him in his despair, “What do we care about that? It is your business.”
If Judas had gone to Jesus even then, if he had asked forgiveness and trusted in His love and mercy, things would have turned out differently for him. Jesus no doubt would have forgiven him and we probably would be reading the book of Judas in the Bible, speaking about the unfathomable mercy and love Jesus had shown him.
But Judas did not do that; his pride and continued lack of trust held him back. Instead of admitting what he had done and seeking forgiveness he gave in to despair and went and hanged himself.
When I think of my abortion, I realize I too sold Jesus out. I did not trust in the love and mercy of God or His divine providence enough to know He would have taken care of both me and my unborn child. I decided to give in to pressure, to trust that others knew better than God. I decided to allow my abortion to happen.
The Scribes and Pharisees are not unlike our society today. Once my abortion was accomplished the chant of society seemed to be, “What is that to us? It is your business,” — leaving me feeling once again, as I did before my abortion, that no one cared enough to listen or support my feelings.
I am not alone. There are thousand upon thousands of women out there experiencing the same feelings I had. Very often they have been pressured into abortion by husbands, boyfriends, friends or family, and then are left to grieve alone. Ashamed and despairing, their voices often go unheard in the abortion debate.
In this Lenten season, I invite them not to give in to their despair as Judas did, but to gaze at the cross. On the cross is love and mercy itself — Jesus, who died for our sins. Even the sin of abortion.