WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN

We have no idea
what could have transpired
during such a meeting between Jesus and Judas.
We can only use our imagination,
though we must always be mindful
of what the Gospel will allow
and what the Church teaches.

Many people are happy
to dismiss Judas
to an eternity of eternal damnation,
with no hope of salvation.

The truth is,
we don’t know.
We believe that there is a hell,
but we don’t know who is there–
or if anyone is there, for that matter.

The Church has canonized many as its saints,
but has so far refused to consign anyone
to eternal damnation.

What we do know is that
what Judas did to Jesus was an awful and terrible thing.
Betrayal is one of the worst–and most painful–sins
because it can be committed only
by people we love.

And Judas did it knowingly–
rejecting all the possible second chances
our Lord had given him.
Was his penitence later on
enough to warrant God’s mercy?

Only God knows.
And only God can be his judge.

We also know that Judas was driven to despair
and that he took his own life–
a grave sin against God–
especially if, as the Church teaches,
it was committed with full knowledge
and full freedom.

But did Judas have full knowledge
and full freedom
in committing suicide?

Only God knows.
And only God can be his Judge.

Given all that we know
about our Lord Jesus,
is it inconceivable
that if and when they met in Hell,
our Lord still extended his friendship
and forgiveness?
Is a second chance from Jesus
ever too late?

Again, we don’t know.
But the Jesus you choose
will say something about your image of God.

Detail from “The Taking of Jesus” (Caravaggio)

Here is the take of one of my favorite writers,
Frederick Buechner:

“Once again
they met in the shadows,
the two old friends,

both of them a little worse for wear
after all that had happened,
only this time

it was Jesus
who was the one to give the kiss,
and this time

it wasn’t the kiss of death that was given.”

If the reunion did happen in this manner,
the main question is:
Did Judas accept Jesus’ kiss of forgiveness?

His response is what would spell the difference
between heaven and hell.

What are your thoughts?
Feel free to share.

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58 replies on “WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN”

I find myself struggling with the idea of Judas even deserving Jesus’s forgiveness. I am still reeling from his act of betrayal. But if Jesus finds it in His heart to forgive his betrayer, who am I not to?

This is interesting, and if this indeed happen, I guess Judas would’ve accepted Jesus’ forgiveness. Perhaps at first, he’ll feel unworthy because of what he has done to Jesus, but with his forgiving presence, anyone looking at him would surely just accept the forgiveness He is offering.

The question is can Judas forgive himself even he committed suicide because of shame and guilt. Does he have the courage after all the sin he have taken and has repented.

Like Judas, I need a lots of kisses from Jesus. I feel comforted that I receive many many kisses form HIM.
I think Judas will accept the Kiss, there are times in my life that I make mistakes and later on I become aware of it. I think it is the same with Judas. God has already forgiven him it will just be up to Judas to forgive himself for his mistakes. I know even if at first he does not accept it. With so many kisses form the Lord he will soon realize that he is already forgiven.

I think, Jesus has forgiven him for the betrayal, as He knew the repentance Judas had in his heart (returning the coins). Judas also took his own life – the most precious gift that God gave to any human being.
With Jesus, the Divine Mercy, infinite mercy and compassion. I hope in their meeting, Judas humbly accepted the forgiveness of Jesus.

Judas surely would have accepted Jesus’ kiss even in shame. And personally, I feel hopeful that he actually did. This was the perfect time to reconcile with Jesus. And knowing the Lord, He would always forgive us no matter how grave our sins were.

Yes! I can feel Judas’ longing for Jesus after he killed himself. And seeing Jesus again made him realize that He is indeed his savior. I can imagine him not only accepting Jesus’ kiss of forgiveness but will also hold Him tight. He is after all one of Jesus’ disciples.

Funnily enough when I was imaging the song Leaves, if I imagined Jesus and Judas talking, it would be a conversation, at the start Judas would be talking complaining about he was warned to go to the light but Jesus takes over in the chorus to be able to say things will be alright if one learns how to forgive. But I think he’s actually telling Judas, that he should learn how to forgive himself, for Jesus knows the guilt Judas felt, after all the apostle killed himself for what he had done. An interesting conversation it would be, and I feel like it will be said with very little words, and spoken of only in glances and embraces. And that alone says all that there needs to be said, and even still, most important thing has not yet been said.

This reminds me of the parable of the prodigal son. As loving and as merciful Jesus is, he must have searched for Judas in Hades, ran to him and kissed him. I imagine Judas, like the prodigal son, feeling so unworthy but God’s infinite love and mercy healed him and was again reunited with Jesus.

I’d like to believe that Judas accepted Jesus’ gesture. Knowing that he took his life because of guilt or fear, he might have been remorseful of his sins. Now, if they have met in hell, being sinful and remorseful, I’d believe he knelt before Jesus and begged for His forgiveness. He was after all Jesus’ disciple.

Definitely YES! There is no doubt that Judas who took his own life for feeling sorry for himself would take his unexpected second chance of life when offered by our Merciful Lord with His kiss of forgiveness!

Yes, I also think Jesus forgave Judas knowing there was an inevitability to it because Judas being Judas and Jesus never compromising. He would be able to forgive a hurtful such a hurtful thing without forgetting the grave offense.

I believe Jesus forgave Judas, that he forgave the betrayal. I think that was partly also why He chose to descend into hell, because Jesus knew his friend was there.

This Hades is a place of darkness and terror. And the presence of Jesus, whom I betrayed and put in danger, was a greater terror. I tremble with fear as he approaches me. But he offers me peace and forgiveness.

I think about the good times we shared, the meals we had, the nights under the stars, the tiring days… It’s about my friendship with him.

It is frightening how Jesus can be so gentle and forgiving despite everything I put him into …

But I have to make this “leap of faith.”

In my imagination, I also think that Judas accepted Jesus’ kiss. I think after that, maybe Jesus talked to him intently and Judas was able to pour out his heart with the remorse he felt before he committed suicide. Maybe Jesus also intently listened to him. Christ’s mercy is endless and He will not reject a contrite heart.

My heart is full as I remember memories in the past triggered by this retreat. Grant me the grace to forgive and be forgiven Oh Lord.

I don’t know… as much as I’d want Judas to accept Jesus’s mercy… I don’t know if he can even forgive himself to accept forgiveness from another, let alone from Jesus Christ.

I imagine that Judas does not accept Jesus’ kiss. I imagine that he still does not believe that Jesus is the Messiah and that Jesus cannot bring all the souls to heaven. That is why Judas turns away from Jesus’ invitation and chooses the path away from Jesus. This is what I imagine. But hey, if by God’s mercy, I go to heaven and I see Judas there, I surely won’t complain. We shall celebrate God together!

Thank you for the reunion insight, Fr. Johnny.
Years ago, an esteemed author shared this with a group of people in her storytelling session. It is a very painful story, but the shortest one on Holy Week. Somehow, the new story you shared seems to have happened some other place and at a later time…but first, this happened..

Welcome home, son!
Hello, father.
It is so god to see you. It’s been a long time.
Yes, father, a very long time. It was hard.
Hard as nail. Hard as wood.
I know. What was the hardest?
The kiss, Father. The kiss. (long pause)
Yes. Come in and let me hold you.

…sin is evil and terrible, but some sin is more evil and more terrible: the sin of those who claim to be friends, disciples, companions. My sin, and the sin of the communities I was part of, the sin of the church were the most devastating of all, like that kiss.

=from Megan McKenna, Lent, 1997.

I think Judas would have accepted that kiss of Jesus and would have begged for forgiveness and mercy and Jesus because of his love will give him His mercy and forgiveness.

In my Judas is overwhelmed by Jesus ‘ forgiveness. He could not believe the greatness of Jesus. Judas was remorseful after he realized how grave was his betrayal of Jesus. He could not face Jesus again he was ashamed. The big take is that Jesus has the big big heart to forgive Judas. Like us sinners we had offended and still offending Jesus and yet we call on him and ask for his mercy. We need to learn our lessons from our mistakes and correctbit or do jot commit the same mistake again. We go back to Jesus’ fold. At peace.

I am certain Judas would have welcomed Jesus’ kiss. After all, Judas killed himself because he regretted having betrayed Jesus. Judas may not have felt deserving of that second chance.. he may even have tried to reject it but only because of shame. I too felt that way before being unable to stop committing a sin I was very shameful of despite confessing it numerous times. But Jesus never gave up on me and somehow after confessing it once again to another priest I was able to stop and not commit this particular sin again. Jesus gives multiple chances… nay He gives infinite chances.

Yes, of course, Jesus forgave Judas and the latter accepted. God accomplishes everything he sets out to do because he is love and love conquers all.

Judas was remorseful, that is why he took his own life after betraying Jesus. But Judas was instrumental to Jesus saving us–including Judas–from our sins. He is, after all, one of the twelve apostles. I imagine that Judas would accept the forgiveness of Jesus, because he of all people should know that Jesus’ love is unconditional.

I think yes he will receive the kiss of forgiveness because I believe that no matter how bad a person could be there will remain a part of his heart that longs for peace and love and that will overcome everything

I think in the depth of Judas’ heart is still goodness. I would like to believe that after everything that Judas went through, betraying You and suffering the terrible consequences of his actions, Judas has reached the bottom of the pit of darkness. And when one hits rock bottom, there is no other way to go but up. Judas will be presented with two choices and because our hearts are always and all the time yearning and longing for light, goodness, and truth (for which it was made), with eyes much clearer from the hell that he went through after he sold You, I would like to believe Judas will not miss his chance again of being forgiven. And, like Peter, Judas will fall on his knees and learn to weep at Your foot because I believe that no heart is too hard nor too lost that Your boundless and infinite mercy cannot reach. This is what I believe. My dearest Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner.

For me, it depends on the despair Judas has in his heart. If Judas didn’t believe that Jesus can forgive him when he was still on earth, there’s a possibility that Judas still believes that thought upon seeing Jesus in hell.

But again, no one knows.

Jesus would surely have forgiven Judas. It is in His nature & that is how He treats all of us since we are not without sin. However, God has also given us free will. It is up to us to accept it or not…even, as we are told, up to the moment of death. Whether Judas accepted that love, we cannot say. But, we can be comforted that God’s love & forgiveness is given to all, no exceptions.

I think this may be similar to when people think “they are not enough” or that “they are unworthy.” A people who would doubt and not understand God’s mercy might not be accepting of His forgiveness. But people who would, would embrace it.

I believe we all have some “Judas” in us every time we betray (or fail, or be indifferent) the people around us-particularly the ones we love most. Thank you to the Holy Spirit to always guide us & get back to the right path & ask His forgiveness. For Judas’ whether his “remorse” was sincere or not(we cannot judge) is something beyond our human understanding, BUT what We are Sure of is : if ever there was a reunion bet Jesus & Judas , Jesus would extend a forgiving hand
WHY:: BECAUSE JUSUS LOVED US FIRST! and that LOVE IS UNCONDITIONAL!! I love you Jesus ❤️️❤️️❤️️ thank you for your great Love!!!!

It’s the first time I thought about this encounter of Christ and Judas. How unfathomable indeed the love and mercy of God. It isn’t hard to imagine that He could indeed have reached out to Judas in the same way that he reached out to the woman caught in adultery. Somehow, I feel that I too am a recipient of his deep love and mercy these days. What I find truly heartening is the thought that it is He Himself who reaches out to us rather than the other way around.

I would like to believe that His kiss to Judas, which reflects His far greater love for us, exceeds our sorrow and sinfulness and moves us to bend on our knees and ask for forgiveness. If Judas, was moved to accept His invitation, then he must now be enjoying our Lord’s company in a totally different setting. There is HOPE in Easter morning!

Yes, I believe Judas accepted Jesus’ kiss of forgiveness. The very fact that his betrayal drove him to suicide meant that he knew the magnitude of what he had done and could not live with it. The only thing that could bring him out of his personal and literal hell would be Jesus’ forgiveness.

Lord, I am sorry, but right now I. Annot bring myself to accept Jesus forgiving Judas the very day he died! Maybe after he does reparation and penance? I don’t know.
But, I believe that Our Master is the only one who can set our just wages. And if His generous heart showers over Judas his blessing and forgiveness, help me then to accept this even without understanding . But I need a lot of help with this, Lord. Because there are so many big time “ Judas” in this time of pandemic, and I will need a lot of help to accept that they too will be blessed … especially those who cannot even say a credible “ I’m sorry”
Lord, have mercy!

Even though we are sinners, we have to own and open our selves to Him and accept humbly his forgiveness to be with Him. This will spell the difference for us as well as for Judas. Judas, as well as “we” need to remember that it is not the kiss of death but the kiss of life.

God’s mercy is just around the corner. We just have to ask and it shall be given.

Perhaps, Judas was so ashamed and could not afford to receive Jesus’s plea – for him to receive His Love and Forgiveness.

Lord, let me remember Your goodness and embrace Your gifts with gratitude and humility instead of pride and feeling of unworthiness. Make me generate fruits for Your vineyard. Lots of fruits to help people.

What I believe is God’s mercy and love exclude no one. I believe when Jesus and Judas met in hell, the former reached out to the latter. I could picture out the compassionate face of Jesus, hugged and kissed Judas. Did Judas accept Jesus’ act of reconciliation, an act of love? I would like to believe that he did. Love changes even the hardest of criminals. Just my thoughts.

Jesus can and will forgive us no matter how grave our sins, because He has far greater love than we can imagine

Lord teach us this kind of love

In Matthew, when Judas saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and tried to return the money to the chief priest and elders but they did not accept. He then threw the money to the temple and hanged himself. Yes, I believe Judas would accept Jesus kiss of forgiveness and felt Jesus mercy and compassion.

Being able to forgive (even for a short period or for a fleeting moment) is a GRACE from God. While betrayal is most painful, most difficult to do by the aggrieved party especially when it results to a loss of life is FORGIVENESS. I know if it happened to me, I don’t think I will have that ability to go beyond myself. And if I did, it was Grace not by my own ability or power but by God’s alone.

So I do not doubt that Jesus forgave Judas when they met. Everybody has his imperfections which each are ashamed of. But like us, ordinary as we may be, Judas no matter how grave his betrayal was likewise deserved a second chance even if he was in hell or in purgatory. Without forgiveness, life would be meaningless and hopeless. I have no doubt that despite the betrayal, Jesus also loved Judas, his disciple.

Hence, in my heart and in my realization, the essence of Jesus’ Resurrection is Hope, Love and Faith. And with these, Forgiveness follows.

God loved us first, He loved us till the end, God’s love is boundless, unfathomable to me, a mere mortal. I can imagine Jesus giving Judas a kiss of forgiveness. I am not sure how Judas responded. I pray that he repented and asked for the Lord’s forgiveness. All is grace.

I believe there is no second chance after death otherwise the life lived on earth will be meaningless, with no hope for the better

Jesus himself said when Peter asked him how many times we should forgive, “seventy times seven times” (Matthew 18:22) which symbolizes infinity. The desperate act of Judas to end his life seems to be an act of deep remorse for what he had done to Jesus. He took his life because he can no longer face himself. While we do not condone suicide as a solution for one’s troubles, we must also not judge and instead, like Jesus, seek to understand. Let us give hope and forgiveness to people who deserve our love and understanding.

Our Lord teaches us in the Gospels to forgive seventy times seventy times….Knowing our Lord, He not only forgave Judas but gave Him the kiss of forgiveness and love as well. Peter also betrayed Him three times but the Lord in His mercy, forgave Him ..He is the Divine Mercy

Our God is a loving God. With all his teachings, Im sure he has forgiven everyone even his betrayer Judas. Judas’ last action of returning the silver and kiliing himself meant he realized his mistake. He will be glad that Jesus came for his and everyones salvation.

Jesus is the embodiment of the Father’s love. Jesus continues to love. The right response is for all to accept and embrace His love.

The Jesus I choose will say something about my image of God.

Jesus for me is the epitome of loving kindness and mercy. It will be no wonder if he would forgive Judas even if the latter has not asked for forgiveness.

I believe Judas approached Jesus like the leper and asked him to make him clean from his illness of betrayal, from his sins. And the two ended in warm embrace filled with love for each other. ♥️

Since Judas reached hell, he had been waiting for Jesus to come no matter how unimaginable and impossible it seemed. Still, he knew Jesus. He had been with him. He just knew he will come with his kiss of forgiveness. He was undeserving and even ashamed that he has thought of it. But his mind insisted. Because he knew Jesus. And when that moment comes he knew too that he would break down in tears before him.

This is the whole meaning and essence of the sacrifice of the Lord to the cross — the forgiveness and love.

Judas was already regretful of what he had done which led him to kill himself. I’m SURE that if Judas saw Jesus when he descended to the dead, and Jesus kissed him, he would cry in joy and gratitude and know that he was forgiven. He will know that Jesus is merciful . He might feel bad that in spite of what he has done,, he was forgiven but this will make him have a change of heart forever. I believe Judas chose YES and is with the Lord in heaven.

In much simpler ways, I have experienced having done something, expecting to be met by someone’s anger, and yet finding love, acceptance and forgiveness. It is truly liberating and consoling and a glimpse into the love of our Lord. I can only imagine what Judas must have felt having met Christ’s love. It gives us all hope – for ourselves and for everyone we know who have gone before us.

So many thoughts on how Judas would receive Jesus. It is beyond my understanding but perhaps in the presence of the Lord, one undergoes conversion. Most especially after the resurrection.

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