All of our first bishops, those ordained by Christ Himself, were such sinful men. Peter denied Jesus three times the day he told Jesus he would die for Him. James and John were so full of themselves that they were after the seats of honor at Christ’s table. Thomas doubted, and all of them abandoned our Lord at the exact point when he needed his friends. And then, there was Judas. Judas was ordained by Christ Himself, and entrusted with the money. But Jesus wasn’t the kind of Messiah Judas was looking for. Judas wanted someone to subjugate the Romans, and put the Pharisees in their place, to overturn the power structures of the day. He probably was first turned away when Jesus gave his Bread of Life Discourse. Eventually, Judas was so against Christ that he betrayed him.
Does that make Judas any worse than Peter, James, John, or Thomas?
The thing that makes Judas worse than the others is that the others overcame their fears and returned. John, even, didn’t abandon our Lord, but being close to the Sacred Heart, he rested there (see today’s Gospel). Judas couldn’t wait to betray the man who all human vision said was just a man with difficult principals. And afterwards, he despaired. He didn’t understand that, even though he betrayed Jesus, Jesus would have forgiven him, had he only asked.
The lesson is that we should never give up, always persevere. In sports, yesterday, Serena Williams was down a set, and down 4-1 in the second set, and persevered, coming back to win. Persevere. Keep trying to overcome your pet sins. If you’re sorry, our Lord will forgive you. He might even take away your temptations, if you ask.