St. Judas prayed, then held forth his Credo:
Pray, do not simplify this Mystery.
Do not fear-sunder the Whole.
Dip your being deep into the Wonder
Beyond choice, into the waiting revelation.
From birth, I, Judas, craved union with the Eternal Beloved, as did my brother Jesus. Though both of us were impelled by this same soul-longing, He was drawn to the Way of Light, and I to the Way of Darkness to balance our grasp of the Mystery and fulfill Holy Prophecy. Thus, our two natures honored Sacred Wholeness.
As did Jesus, I also sought and studied ancient wisdom lore. But while He aspired to the high and spiritual, I went to the bowels of the mystical teachings. Following the heretical practices of meditating in graveyards and the ritual breaking of commandments, I escaped my archaic mind. I was thus able to penetrate the bewildering metaphor and contorted logic, till finally I came to grasp the true significance of these apocrypha.
Both of us, sincere and relentless in our efforts, yet, while Jesus journeyed to far-off lands to delve into their high teachings, I sought about me in the shadowlands of human nature for my truths. Lessons and resources were always at hand. I attended to the cries from a neighbor's wife at his harsh words, and to his moans of despondency -drenched in wine- at her endless dissatisfactions. I heard the shop owner's moaning prayers in despair at his workers' sloth. And I knew their weeping hearts embittered with lives of endless drudgery and despair. I noted the High Temple Priest's barbed judgments of others, and his parishioners' disillusion that even one wrapped in a cloak of holiness had a heart as bitter as their own.
I prayerfully attended to all this till my soul opened to admit that each being's daily pain and misery, as well as the love and joy, also served Divine Purpose. That Shadow together with the Light, hold key to the Totality. The afflictin is part of the gift. Suffering is veiled Sacramental Wounding. It holds a key to the completeness of Source. It persist eternally, in one form or another, because the Lord of Creation births Darkness as well as Light, pain as well as pleasure, from the selfsame Splendor of His Face. There is but one Source for All That Is. In this Eternal Paradox lies the Truth.
Could Adam and Eve and their seed have found fulfillment in the delight of serving Divine Purpose had they stayed cozy and cared for in the Garden? Could their guileless hearts have learned to hunger and thirst for Him without sacrificing their contented walks together through the Garden at sunset?
I too became a teacher and healer, known and honored even by some who honored Jesus. But my way was not merely to banish the affliction. It was to honor the Maker's Hand, even in the bitterest of pain and sorrow, to journey with the afflicted one into the redeeming hell of their own Sacramental Wounding.
The Book of Job was core to my teaching. His story was an awakening for many to witness how God, with Satan's help, used suffering and humiliation to transform Job from a self-righteous man into one living in God-awed righteousness. My counsel was: "Be grateful that you are brought with your face to the dust. Understand, this is not a curse but a revelation."
Jesus, of course, became far better known than I. Painless healings and promises of eternal life, drew the masses more than my call to their wholeness of being. Though my dear Brother and I knew from early on that my Way was as Holy as His, I became, in name at least, His disciple.
I loved His wise stories. And never did I mock Him for I loved and needed my brother as the One whose soul carried the completion and cure for my own Dark Knowing. His release from life's torment was forgiveness. My resolution was in surrender to it. But always, if He spoke as if there were a way beyond life's shadow, He'd look at me with downcast eyes in a grieving that none but I could comprehend. But, if you have truly given your heart to God, you must do what you are ordained to do.
"You will exceed all of them. For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me," He assured me at the Supper. Our recognition and love for each other made the inevitable all the more tormenting. Though I carried out the dark and bitter task, we both knew that it was also to fulfill Holy Prophecy. He kissed the tears of grief on my cheeks as seal on the fulfillment of our pact when the centurions I'd sent for came to seize Him.
He looked at each of us with eyes of love untouched by this happening, then turned and went with them, His long hair covering His bowed face.
Mine too was a self-sacrificing act of love to open the way for the Kingdom.