Have you ever bitten into an apple, or any piece of fruit for that matter, that looks really good on the outside but was rotten and thus tasted terrible on the inside? It can be quite a shock to the system. It was probably a great shock and disappointment to the other apostles when they discovered that Judas was a betrayer. John reveals to us the double-sided nature of Judas in today’s Gospel. Judas seems to be saying something righteous, but he has a very unrighteous motive indeed for the words that he says!

 

It only takes a little chink in the armor of a soldier for the arrow or lance to find a way through. It is often the smallest of holes in a piece of fruit through which the grub or worm has burrowed his way into the heart. This is what sin will do to us if we allow it into our hearts. Sin will gradually burrow its way to the center of our lives and begin to radiate out from there to make our whole lives unholy. Sin is not satisfied with remaining little and unseen. It wants to contaminate the whole of our lives.

 

Judas had a weakness in his desire for money, and probably most of us can sympathize with him on that account. However, this meant that he needed to be vigilant in that area of his life. He needed to cultivate a spirit of generosity in his heart to overcome his tendency to greed and theft. It means taking definite and concrete actions to develop the virtues that are opposite to the vices we desire to overcome. This will require paying a price! It will mean sacrifice and self-denial. It will mean opening our hearts to the grace of the Holy Spirit and allowing Him to empower us in our struggle against sin. On our own we will ultimately fail. However, with the grace of God all things are made possible.

 

St Ignatius Loyola teaches us the principle that to overcome a negative trait we need to actively choose the opposite to it in our lives. If we always did this we would grow in holiness everyday and sin would be driven from our lives. Our hearts have been contaminated by sin from a very young age and bad habits are often allowed to develop in our lives. Part of our desire to be holy must be the decision to let the Holy Spirit purify us of these contaminations and help us to grow in virtue and holiness every day of our lives.

 

What are the areas of my life that need to be decontaminated from the bad habits I have allowed to form in them? Am I willing to let the Holy Spirit help me to do this?

 

Lord Jesus, grant me the grace of a deeper surrender to the work of the Holy Spirit in my life. Please give me the humility to admit that I cannot do it on my own and to invite the Holy Spirit to help me purify my life.