Begging Our Pardons

Jesus said, “One of you will betray me…the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” When (Jesus) had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot…Jesus said to him, “Do quickly what you are going to do”…After receiving the piece of bread, (Judas) immediately went out (John 13.21b, 26, 27b, 30a)
the last supper (la ultima cena) (1786), benjamin west (1738-1820)

Of manifold ways to describe our world, to describe us
(in this, I confess my now daily distress),
I see people
(from what I can discern, nearly all of us;
and perhaps, in one individual way or another, all of us)
elevating, exalting their, our personal views as real, as corporeal
and on par with the alway (if we could and would but profess it)
wholly unfathomable Truth of what is right
(for, I believe, no one, not one of us can have and hold Truth right).

In this, we fashion, from the scruff of our observations and opinions,
our partisan creeds, which we recite with veneration;
leading us to divide (oft leaving us divided)
between swift and scathing verdicts upon those of differing persuasions,
and blinkered deference for like-minded souls, notwithstanding their transgressions.

So, Judas, one of history’s worst (perhaps, for some, the worst of) betrayers
is the patron saint of all traitors of good conscience and fair-minded conviction,
which, I think, I believe, at one point or another,
has included,
does include,
and will include us all.

We humans, historically, appraise by degrees our infidelities to the common good;
our system of law and order, crime and punishment balanced on scales of gradations of iniquity.

Yet, I think, from heaven’s view either righteousness or wrongness
is more…most clearly seen.

Thus, let us pray that e’en Judas can be, was, is forgiven.
For if, for as Jesus went to the cross to die for all,
then “all” includes him, too.

Good thing.
For none dares point to another when the weight of judgment rightly
can fall,
does fall,
will fall
upon all.


Illustration: The Last Supper (1786), Benjamin West (1738-1820)

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