Beware of the
Judas Iscariot syndrome
Fr. ROY CIMAGALA,
October 28, 2020
THIS is about people who
are close to us but who can betray us, much like what Judas Iscariot
did to Christ. Imagine, Judas was already one of the apostles, so
close to Christ that he must have directly experienced the goodness
of Christ. And yet he managed to betray him!
Of course, Godís
providence is so wise and powerful that a greater good was derived
from this truly horrible act. Itís nothing less than gaining the
possibility of our own salvation, the reopening of heaven for us.
But it should never be for this reason that we can even be cavalier
in our attitude toward this possibility of betrayal.
possibility can also happen to us when we only go through the
motions of friendship, especially with God, but only up to there.
Itís just appearances that we would be making, giving lip service
left and right, but not the real thing. When the opportunity comes,
we can betray them.
To be sure, this is not
just a simple act of infidelity. Itís a much graver type of
infidelity that is played out in deceit. Its other name is
treachery. It involves a network of hypocrisy, cheating and
double-dealing, hidden and unexpressed critical thoughts, etc.
Sincerity and transparency are thrown out of the window while
retaining their masks.
This possibility is always
around. We cannot dismiss it as something impossible to happen. Our
human condition here on earth where we are always engaged in the
constant battle between good and evil, between grace and our
weaknesses and temptations around, can always make this possibility
When we are not true to
our word and to our commitments, renewing and strengthening our
fidelity to them from time to time, or when we do not correct our
mistakes and sins as soon as we can, or when we are not sincere and
transparent, we would actually be giving an opening for such
possibility to happen. If we are not careful, the slide to betrayal
can come quietly and surely.
We have to be most guarded
against this possibility and try to nip in the bud whatever slight
traces of its symptoms come to our awareness. This is also true in
our duty to take care of others who can also succumb to such
possibility. Once we notice the symptoms in others, we should
already start thinking, praying and devising some strategy to help
In this regard, we can
never overemphasize the need to be constantly vigilant in our
responsibility over our own spiritual lives and those of the others.
When we notice the onset of complacency and spiritual lukewarmness
whose signs can easily be detected, we should already be amply
warned and start to do something about it.
When we notice certain
inconsistencies between the expressed intentions and words, on one
hand, and deeds, on the other, we should already consider them as
Truth is all of us have
the duty to take care of everyone else, especially those who are
close to us. And one concrete way to carry out this duty is to
consciously bring to our prayer each person with whom we have some
special or close relations, or with whom some commitments are
This is not, of course, a
matter of spying, but rather an expression of genuine love and
concern for the others. We should never be indifferent to anyone.
Once we notice some symptoms of what we may refer to as the Judas
Iscariot syndrome, we have to start to do something, praying first,
asking God for some light and guidance, and coming up with some
Usually, what is just
needed is to shower the person concerned with more affection and
understanding, giving him always good example. In other words, to
drown him with a lot of goodness with the view of leading him to a