This week in the daily liturgy we read the Gospel accounts of Judas’ betrayal. It is ugly stuff. The Scriptures say that Judas was a thief and took money from the common purse (Jn 12:6). Moreover, he conspired with the chief priests and Temple officers on handing Jesus over to them. A real opening to the demonic.
But was he possessed? The Scriptures are clear and graphic: “Then Satan entered into Judas” (Lk 22:3). Moreover, John’s gospel tells the exact moment in which Judas became possessed: “After he took the morsel, Satan entered him” (Jn 13:27). Some scholars believe that this refers to Judas having received the Eucharistic Body of Christ without faith and actually as a betrayer. He immediately left the Last Supper and the Gospel says, “It was night” (Jn 13:30).
In a very difficult exorcism some time ago, we were faced with hundreds of demons. We went through layers and layers of demonic cohorts, each captained by a different leader. At each point, I demanded to know that cohort leader’s name, which helped in casting them out. When each leader left, his entire cohort left with him.
At one point, demanding the name, I was surprised to hear the response, “Judas!” I further inquired, “Are you a demon using his name or the real human who betrayed Jesus?” In a shout filled with shame, he answered that he was truly the man. Shortly thereafter, Judas was expelled. I asked how that happened, since I was not aware of him leaving. The demons said: “She cast him out.” Of course, they were referring to Mary, the mother of Jesus.*
While the Church has never named anyone as definitively being in hell, Jesus himself said of Judas, “It would be better for that man if he had never been born” (Mt 26:24). Apparently, Judas despaired of God’s mercy and hung himself. If only he had turned to Jesus in true repentance, he would have been saved. If my experience is accurate, Judas has been lost.
No one is beyond God’s mercy, except those who reject it. Recently, a woman came to me who said that God was angry with her and would not forgive her, despite her repentance. But the voice in her head that said she could not be forgiven was really the voice Satan.
During this most holy of weeks, when we gaze upon the Cross, it should convict us that God’s love and mercy are without limit for the world and for each one of us.
*See Diary of an American Exorcist, pp. 67-68.
**Register for our free online deliverance session Monday May 8th at 7-8pm Eastern USA time (the same as New York City). Register here or: https://www.catholicexorcism.org/event-details/may-8th-online-deliverance-prayer-session
Image: “The Taking of Christ,” Caravaggio, 1602