Jesus and his disciples are about to share the Passover meal. Among them is Judas, who has already promised the religious leaders that he will deliver Jesus to them in exchange for 30 cycles of silver.
“After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, ‘Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.’ His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, ‘Ask him which one he means.’ Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, ‘Lord, who is it?’ Jesus answered, ‘It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.’ Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. So Jesus told him, ‘What you are about to do, do quickly.’ But no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the festival, or to give something to the poor. As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.” (John 13:21-30)
Harald Sigurdson, the legendary king of Norway, called the Hardrada (tough ruler) by his men, once had to take well-fortified enclave. When his forces arrived near their objective, they pretended that their king was sick, perhaps dying. A few days into the siege, word reached the fortress that Harald was dead. His men then asked the priests in the castle to allow them to give Harald a fitting burial in consecrated ground. The priests agreed, and Harald’s men were allowed in, marching in large somber procession and carrying the casket with their supposedly dead monarch. Once inside the gates, a surprisingly healthy Harald leaped from the coffin. His men locked the gates open and signaled the rest of Harald’s forces to come in fighting. Daring king Harald repeated the trick a few more times until that fateful day when he conquered a six-foot parcel of English soil and got himself a real funeral.
In one of my favorite movies, Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather, Michael Corleone arranges the assassination of all his competitor mobsters while he ‘innocently’ attends a baptismal ceremony. What better alibi than being in Church doing what a respectable Catholic man does: becoming a godfather, welcoming a newborn child in the community of the faithful while his minions are gunning down his competitors all over town.
Appearances can be deceptive, especially when those pretending to be decent are up to no good.
Sincere Catholics are just beginning to discover a vast operation, designed by enemies who have infiltrated the Church to destroy it from within. In our case, the attack did not come without warning. In previous articles, I commented on Communist defectors, converts, and others warning about a fifth column of enemies growing inside the Church since the days of Pope Leo XIII. The basic element of their strategy is deception. While it is true that is very difficult for them to remain completely invisible, they have succeeded to conceal their real objective by feigning to be ‘reformers.’ They declare to be Catholics who believe that the Church should be “modernized” to “come up with the times” becoming more effective at saving souls for Christ. In my opinion, that is as truthful as the deceitful request of Harald’s soldiers, or Michael Corleone’s timing on his nephew’s baptism. Modernists are up to no good.
The methods of infiltration have changed over time but there is one that proved to be quite successful lately. It consists in pretending to be a hyper-traditionalist and start some new movement feigning to help Catholics to live their faith more deeply. Although I am not naming names, I have three particular cases in mind that seem to closely follow this modus operandi: pretend to be very traditional (because Modernists simply do not attract big numbers to join their ranks) and then work hard at attracting the cream of the cream of young good Catholics in their area of influence. That will bring in funds. Once deceived by the Judases, True Catholics are generous with those who appear to be working hard for the cause of Christ. As soon as the pretenders get enough young men, and a good flow of donations coming into their account, they unveil the third part of the operation that can be one or more of the following:
- To pervert the youth trusted to their care,
- To use the newly acquired prestige to covertly promote the Modernist agenda,
- To utilize the religious organization to launder illegal money,
- To get involved in all kinds of covert illegal activities.
All of that while living the ‘good life’ like Marcial Maciel, Theodore McCarrick, and others that you know very well.
Some organizations (like The Lepanto Institute, Church Militant, and others) are exposing those creeps but that is not likely to completely stop them from trying to demolish the Church. The deceivers are people who, for the most part, do not believe in God and have no problem spreading lies, destroying reputations, making false accusations, or abusing power. Many appear on Catholic media regularly to deceptively request funds to line their pockets and live lavishly off the faithful’s alms.
Now, going back to John 13:21-30, we can use that passage as a guide or model to help us understand what is going on. That scripture begins with Jesus feeling troubled in the spirit by the treasonous plans of Judas Iscariot. That is when Our Lord let the apostles know that one among them is a traitor. In my opinion, that is Jesus’ last attempt to rescue the betrayer from perdition. He can read Judas’ heart just like he could read the hearts of his enemies many times before. (See Matthew 9:4-5) Of course, all the apostles are alarmed at this sudden revelation. Their alarm resembles the shock and confusion that the Church will experience before her own Passion.
Peter takes the initiative and asks John to inquire who is the traitor. John, the one reclining closer to the Sacred Heart, asks the Lord. Jesus answers with a sign. First he deeps a morsel in the plate and then gives it to Judas. That is an act of friendship designed to move Judas to repentance and confession. But the Iscariot’s conscience does not change. He is already focused on the price of his treason. He sees Jesus as the means to get to the promised payment, not as his Friend and Savior. Judas’ heart is hardening fast. He accepts the morsel of food unmoved by the Lord’s love for him. At that moment, the devil takes hold of Judas and the poor sinner becomes the instrument of evil.
Jesus utters some mysterious words: “What you are about to do, do quickly.” Those words enter into the sinner’s ears but his intentions don’t change. Both Judas and Jesus know now that the death of Our Lord is sealed. Judas is determined to get his money and Jesus is bound to voluntarily enter the mystery of redemption through the Cross. At that point, Judas goes into the darkness of the night to complete his betrayal.
Keep that sequence of events in mind and compare it with the ongoing betrayal of the Church that may very well lead to her own Passion. “Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.” (John 15:20) If Jesus was betrayed, the Church will be betrayed also. We must be prepared as a Church to endure the Passion just like Our Lord did.
Those close to the Sacred Heart will know and understand just like John did. Like John himself, they will remain close to Jesus until the very end.
The traitors will go to the darkness outside, to the world and the foolish adulation, fleeting riches, and empty pleasures they covet. The Church will have to suffer and die to give witness of her Master. Yet we must remember: there is no Resurrection without Calvary.
After Calvary, Jesus was raised to everlasting glory and appeared to Mary Magdalene in the garden; just as if that modest garden outside the Holy Sepulcher was a new Eden. The way to that Eden of glorious light in the eternal company of Jesus is the Holy Cross. Through this time of confusion, concentrate on the great prize before us.
“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with Me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, the sorcerers, the unchaste, the murderers, the idolaters and all those who love and practice deception.” (Revelation 22:12-14)