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Whatever happened to the guy that dobbed in Jesus?

Often in teaching, a young man makes a remark which comes out of the blue. Unexpected. Random. Awkward. It happened last week in my Year 7 Religion class. As we were discussing Catholic Church hierarchy – and how the Cardinal’s elect the Pope – a young lad politely raised his hand. “Excuse me Sir. Whatever happened to Judas? You know, the guy who dobbed in Jesus.”

In true startled teacher fashion, I deflected question. “Great question mate. Let’s talk about it after class.” I rapidly scoured my short and long term memory banks; searching for the answer. Doctor Google was a great accomplice. After 15 minutes, I spoke quietly to the inquisitive lad as boys worked on the attributes that make a great Pontiff. “Judas killed himself shortly after the betrayal.”

Some theologians claim that he couldn’t live with his guilt after realising that material goods brought him little satisfaction. Despite the promises of wealth and fortune (in the form of the 30 pieces of silver), Judas found no contentedness in being rich. He was not admired by the Romans nor the Jewish elders. He felt more alone than ever. “I have sinned for I have betrayed innocent blood” (Matthew 27).

The shortcomings of material wealth are something the boys are being challenged to consider in the final two weeks of the term. Despite their busyness with assessment, winter sports and personal social lives, we are asking them to consider the misfortune of others as a part of our Lenten Appeal. As a College Community, we are fundraising for local organisations and individuals who need assistance. The change and surpluses in our lives can make a significant difference to others. Does the extra $5 or $10 in our own wallets provide us with more reassurance than the knowledge that we can significantly help other people in our city? The sick, the homeless, the elderly. Only last week our Year 8 cohort were able to assist a local Special School; thereby gaining first hand experiences with people in need. We are encouraging boys to sacrifice some of their own time or resources as a part of our Lenten Appeal. Collections are done every morning in home room.

The Appeal culminates in our Fayre extravaganza which occurs on the final day of the term. All classes are invited to run a fun stall or activity which boys can participate in to raise even more funds. We are endeavouring to eclipse the $12 000 which was raised in 2016. I encourage all families to talk to their sons about their class’s ideas and how they can attract business and interest on the day – it’s almost like an interactive accounting lesson! Marketability, profit and market engagement.

The time for all in our community to reach out to others is now. The benefits of wealth are not infinite but the contentedness that serving others can bring is boundless.

Matthew Warr, Assistant Dean of Formation
warrm@atc.qld.edu.au