Kiss of Betrayal

There are holy kisses of Godly affection and there are unholy kisses. Christ would experience the unholy kiss of Judas, His friend turned betrayer. The Lord’s hour had come as foretold. The kiss of mockery and betrayal marked the descent of an hour of darkness. The devil entered the Apostle Judas as Jesus indicated at the Last Supper, “He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me is the one who will betray me (Matt 26:23).” Satan would have his hour but Christ has His Eternal Day.

“Greet one another with a holy kiss,” wrote Saint Paul to the Romans (Rom. 16:16), Corinthians (1 Cor. 16:20) and the Thessalonians (1 Thess. 5:26). Saint Peter wrote, “Greet one another with a kiss of love” (1 Peter 5:14). A holy kiss expresses the affection of God’s love that has been poured into our hearts. In many cultures people greet one other with a kiss on each cheek. The holy kiss is a warm way of greeting one another with chaste affection for the family of Christ.

We can imagine that Jesus Christ cherished the tender kisses of love from His holy Mother Mary in His childhood years in Nazareth. Surely The Virgin Mary blessed Jesus with kisses on His holy face, chosen hands and feet like most mothers of children do. In Nazareth, Galilee and Jerusalem most likely the Lord received with joy the welcoming greeting of a holy kiss between friends and family. His Apostles took care to instruct the Church to greet one another with a holy kiss of love. Is this a reflection of what they learned from their Master who is Incarnate Love and with whom they enjoyed such a deep friendship?

The betrayal kiss of Judas took place on the Mount of Olives in the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus underwent unprecedented mortal agony. Christ suffered to the point of sweating blood—a medical condition called Hematidrosis. This is a very rare but real medical condition wherein a person’s sweat will contain blood. The most intense human pain causes this condition.

The word Gethsemane originates from a Hebrew expression Gat Shemen meaning olive press. Today the Church of All Nations stands near the foot of the Mount of Olives in Gethsemane. The Church is built over the Rock upon which Jesus agonized and prayed the night before His crucifixion. Adjacent to the Church of All Nations is the Garden of Gethsemane that still has eight ancient, gnarled olive trees. It is an evocative site for prayerful reflection and considered to be one of the most sacred places in the Church’s tradition. Matthew records, “Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, as he said to his disciples, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray’ (Matt. 26:36).”

A year ago I made a two-week private retreat to the Holy Land with a handful of people. Our priest leader scheduled us to have consecutive nightly private Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in the Church of All Nations. The central area of the Church features the Rock upon which Jesus agonized. Due to construction, Adoration was set up on a side altar to the left of the Rock. The Monstrance was placed in front of a huge, magnificent tile mosaic donated by the people of Ireland. The Kiss of Judas is exquisitely portrayed in the mosaic bringing the scripture scene to life.

During our evenings of hour long silent Adoration, I pondered Judas’ kiss of betrayal considering how Jesus experienced the hour that set into motion His passion and death. I pondered the Lord’s suffering over the kiss of a friend who sold Him for silver coins. Like the crucifixion, the betrayal of Judas was to fulfill the scriptures but it still caused unspeakable sting to the tender Sacred Heart of Jesus.

As I pondered the various forms of human betrayal I considered Christ’s pain that foreshadowed the suffering of every one who has been wounded by betrayal. How many covenants of marriage have been broken by kisses of infidelity? How many wonderful friendships break apart due to betrayal in some form? How many parents have betrayed their unborn child at an abortion mill? The lustful kisses of too many unholy liaisons betray human dignity and God’s law of love.

Sometimes in cases of deliverance and possession, priests and their teams encounter the spirit of Judas oppressing or possessing victims to lead them to betray Jesus and His Church. Temptations to betray Christ are many and varied. Through the ages too often His own disciples are the ones who kiss Him on the cheek and subsequently sell Him out for less than then thirty pieces of silver.

That night in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus felt the cold mockery of Judas’ kiss on His Holy Face, did His agony increase at the thought of all the kisses of betrayal that His Bride the Church would also endure throughout history? Did He compare the perfect fidelity of His holy parents, the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph, to the infidelity of His apostle whom He loved?

Perhaps the following poem captures some of Christ’s interior sentiments as He prayed in Gethsemane that night before His impending crucifixion. Let us draw close to Jesus as we enter the gate of the Mount of Olives.

O Desolate Garden
O night of agony
Drowning in sorrow
Piercing terror
O weight of the world
Sin so deadly
Humanity so fleeting
Death so promising
O tortuous sacrifice
O silent suffering
Darkness enveloping
Chill penetrating bones
Heart abandoned
Body trembling
Bloody sweat dripping
Father, take this cup from me
Not mine, but your will be done
O sin of all ages
Crushing weight upon me
Winds whisper torture
Death unlike any other
Surrender my soul, surrender
O Father, the hour has come
Glorify me that I glorify you
Eternal life purchased
Blood ransom paid
Receive my offering
Open the gate of life
Love’s agony
Man’s debt paid
O how I love
Alone I am
Drink the cup
Empty the chalice
Baptism of blood
Victory of love
Fiat, Abba!

Lord Jesus, please forgive us the times we betrayed Your friendship and love. Remember us Jesus when we venerate Your Cross with a kiss of love on Good Friday. Graciously bless us with Your divine kiss of healing mercy.

Kathleen Beckman

By

Kathleen Beckman, L.H.S., serves as Co-founder and President of the Foundation of Prayer for Priests (www.foundationforpriests.org). She is an author, radio host and retreat director who frequently speaks to priests, seminarians, religious and laity in the United States and abroad. Often featured on EWTN TV and radio, Kathleen hosts the weekly program Living Eucharist, which airs internationally on Radio Maria. She serves as spiritual director, advisory board member and faculty for the Pope Leo XIII Institute, and the Magnificat advisory team. Her new book, Praying for Priests: A Mission for the New Evangelization, is available from Sophia Institute Press.

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  • LionelAndrades

    Kiss of betrayal?
    Catholic bishops of Dallas, Fort Worth, Charlotte, Florida, USA approved a Mandatum to teach there is known salvation outside the Church and the dead-saved are visible to us
    ‘The theology faculty at Aquinas is united in its vision of the Church and her teachings. In accordance with the document Ex Corde Ecclesiae every teacher of theology has the Mandatum (official authorization) from the local bishop.’ 1
    The Most Reverend Peter J. Jugis, Bishop of Charlotte, USA stated “All of our Catholic schools are committed to hold and teach the Catholic faith in its fullness and with integrity. The Catechism of the Catholic Church contains an explanation of our faith and is accessible to all.”
    According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church there is exclusive salvation in only the Catholic Church. This is my interpretation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (846). For me, being saved in invincible ignorance (CCC 847,Lumen Gentium 16) etc is a posibility known only to God. Since there are no known cases in 2014, CCC 847,LG 16 are not an exception to Ad Gentes 7, cited in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (846). All need to enter the Church as through a door (CCC 846). All need faith and baptism (AG 7).

    So the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1993) is in agreement with the Catechism of Pope Pius X. CCC 846 has the same message as the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus and the Syllabus of Errors.

    The Mandatum has been given for universities and school teachers by the bishops in the USA to teach that CCC 846 is contradicted by CCC 847 and 848.

    In other words there are visible cases in the USA of the deceased saved in invincible ignorance etc who are exceptions to all needing to enter the Church as through a door and all needing faith and baptism for salvation. (CCC 846,Ad Gentes 7)

    It is the same Catechism of the Catholic Church but we have different interpretations of CCC 846. For me CCC 847 and 848 are not exceptions to CCC 846 (and CCC 845). For the USCCB they are exceptions to Tradition. The dead-saved are visible for them.

    Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ (CCC 847) refer to implicit for us cases. For the bishops they are explicit for us cases. For me being saved in invincible ignorance, seeds of the Word, good and holy things in other religions, imperfect communion with the Church are hypothetical.It is not so for millions of Catholics.For me these cases refer to the deceased, now saved in Heaven, who are not visible to us.So they cannot be relevant to the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus which says all need to convert into the Church for salvation.

    This is not the interpretation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, according to the University of St.Thomas Aqunas in Rome. This is not the interpretation of Sr.Mary Sarah Galbraith O.P, the President of Aquinas College.It is not the interpretation at the University of Dallas and nor of the catechetics and theology departments of the Ave Maria University , Florida.For all of them the dead-saved are visible in the flesh!

    TheLetter of the Holy Office 1949 to the Archbishop of Boston relative to Fr.Leonard Feeney which says we must interpret the dogma on salvation as the Church does. We know how the popes and saints interpreted extra ecclesiam nulla salus – St.Anthony Marie Claret, St.Maximillian Kolbe, St.Francis of Assisi, St.Francis Xavier, St.Ignatius of Loyola, St. Teresa of Avila…If the cardinal who issued the Letter had assumed that being saved in implicit desire or in invincible ignorance was an exception to the literal interpretation of Fr.Leonard Feeney, then he made an objective mistake and a great wrong was done to the ex-Jesuit priest from Boston.

    VATICAN COUNCIL II CONFUSION

    Similarly the American bishops have approved Catholic educational instituions teaching that in Vatican Council II Ad Gentes 7 contradicts Lumen Gentium 16.
    For them AG 7 says ‘all’ need to enter the Church with ‘faith and baptism’, while LG 16, it is implied, says all do not need to enter the Church. Those saved in invincible ignorance are ‘known exceptions’.They would have to be visible for us for them to be known exceptions to the traditional concept of salvation.
    -Lionel Andrades

    “Outside the Church there is no salvation”

    846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:
    Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.336 847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation.337
    848 “Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men.”338

    1.

    http://www.aquinascollege.edu/about-aquinas/why-aquinas-college/

    http://www.aquinascollege.edu/

  • Suz Lickteig

    O sweet Jesus how often we betray you with the horrible kiss of our sins, thank you so much for dying and rising for us, we are so unworthy and yet You love us forever. Wow, can’t even begin to comprehend this…..thank You Jesus, thank You, I love and adore you our King. May we all reach the day where our kisses to You are only good and righteous ones in our eternal home together.

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