The Cloak of Religion, The Heart of Christ 1-24-2021

Everyone likes to be around a success story. Some of these
disciples mentioned, Peter, Andrew, James, John: became very
successful apostles for Christ’s mission. They were not perfect,
but the Lord asked them to do a lot of good to build up the
Kingdom of God.
One of the early disciples was not very successful. No one
wanted to be around him. Very few books were written about him,
“Judas, the Traitor”. I really believe there is something we can
learn from Judas.
I’ve wondered at times what kind of man this Judas was.
What he looked like, how he acted, who his friends were. I guess
I’ve stereotyped him. I’ve always pictured him as a wiry, beady-
eyed, sly, wormy fellow, pointed beard and all. I’ve pictured him
as estranged from the other apostles. Friendless. Distant.
Undoubtedly he was a traitor and a weasel. Probably the result of
a broken home. A juvenile delinquent in his youth No, I think we’ve got Judas pegged wrong. Perhaps, he was
just the opposite. Instead of sly and wiry, maybe he was robust
and jovial. Rather than quiet and introverted, he could have been
outgoing and well-meaning. I don’t know.
But for all the things we don’t know about Judas, there is one
thing we know for sure. He had no relationship with Jesus. He
had seen Jesus but did not know Him. He had heard Jesus, but he
did not understand Him. He had a religion but no relationship.
As Satan worked his way around the table in the upper room,
he needed a special kind of man to betray our Lord. He needed a
man who had seen Jesus but who did not know Him. He needed a
man who know the actions of Jesus but missed out on the mission
of Jesus. Judas was the man.
We learn a timeless lesson from the betrayer. Satan’s best
tools of destruction are not from outside the church; they are
within the church. A church will never die from immorality in Hollywood or the corruption in Washington. But it will die from
corrosion within. From those who bear the name of Jesus but never met Him and from those who have religion but no
relationship. Judas bore the cloak of religion, but he never knew
the heart of Christ.
I close with this: Calling ourselves a Christian; calling
ourselves a Catholic Church, Catholic School, is a Big Waste of
Time; unless first we know the Heart of Christ, and unless we have
a growing alive relationship with Jesus Christ.
The choice is ours;
1. The Cloak of Religion
2. The Heart of Christ.
I pray we choose wisely


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