Spy Wednesday, Gollum, Judas, and Our Choices

Today is Wednesday of Holy Week, also traditionally known as “Spy Wednesday”, because this is the day that we read the Gospel account of Judas’s betrayal.

I also read a brilliant article entitled,How Judas is the Gollum of the Gospels” written by Philip Kosloski in which he presents a great case that Gollum represents the disciple, Judas, in the great fantasy epic, The Lord of the Rings, written by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Thinking further about the comparison of Gollum and Judas, I soberly realized that I can be a lot like Gollum, pursuing “my precious” (be it a promotion, a degree, a new car, fame, money or influence) to the disregard of the danger inherent in my pursuit–let alone the consequences if I actually acquire “my precious.”

Some examples of what I mean:

How many times have we disregarded or ignored friends (or even family) in situations where they might bring us embarrassment?

Or when have we failed to share the recognition or rewards that came your way as a result of a team project that you led or were part of?

Or maybe it was hitting the “decline” button when the phone rings, or the ignoring of an email because it simply was “inconvenient” to respond at the time because there was something “more important” to do?

But this realization of how I tend to pursue the “my precious”es of my life that gave me even greater pause.

Because if I am like Gollum, then I am most definitely like Judas, too.

I hate this fact, but it is a fact.

Because I, too, betray my Lord for things other than what He would desire for me.

Because I, too, believe that I know better than Him, and pursue my plan vs His.

Because I, too, justify my thoughts, words or actions with wonderful reasons for why I am thinking, saying, or doing what it is that I am thinking, saying or doing.

Because I, too, fail to love and trust Him above all things.

But although I can be just like Judas, I get a choice. I can choose to say yes be like Jesus instead.

I can choose to pursue the things that Jesus desires for me–things of beauty, and of goodness, and of truth.

I can choose to pursue His plan for me–plans that are full of hope and of life.

I can choose to allow Him to form my thoughts, words and actions instead of being guided solely my own disordered desires and those of the world.

And these are choices we have not just on Spy Wednesday, but on each and every day of our lives.

So as we begin the three great and holy days of the Triduum tomorrow, I hope that we all choose to be a bit more like Jesus.

But if we do betray Jesus in some way like Judas, either by acting like Gollum in our pursuit of whatever “my precious” might be, or in some other way, then remember that it’s never too late to turn back to the very One who loves us so much that He became like us to be with us.

And then He loved us so much more that He willingly poured out His life so that every one of us might live with Him for all eternity.

The choice is ours.

I pray you SAY YES.

Prayers for a blessed Triduum!