The experience of betrayal


John Main once said that the main goal of Christian education is to help us to deal with the experience of betrayal. A challenging statement, but when you look at the passion narratives in the gospels, betrayal is at the heart of the of the story . We can see what that means when we see how Jesus deals with his painful experience of betrayal, his own understanding of Judas. He doesn’t demonise Judas, as some of the evangelists seem to do writing separately about Judas, and Judas has of course become the demon figure in much of the Christian myth. But Jesus himself seems to understand and accept the betrayal that is happening. He says go and do what you’ve got to do (Jn 13:27), as Judas leaves the table at the Last Supper. And he says that this is the fulfilling of scripture, of the sense of destiny. Jesus’s sense of self is expanded beyond his own ego, his own ego would have been hurt by this experience of betrayal, separation, but his sense of self expands because of the way he deals with this separation. His own sense of self expands as his ego accepted the suffering that he could not deny or avoid.

 ( The Brick Wall of the Ego 1 by Laurence Freeman OSB )

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