‘The Judas Factor’ Sees History In A New Light
Glendale Author Advances His Ideas
A new book by the president of the Greater Ridgewood Youth Council (GRYC) offers readers a whole new look at apostle Judas Iscariot under a different light than the one that paints him as a traitor who delivered Jesus Christ to the Romans before his crucifixion.
After recently skimming through the Lost Gospel of Judas, Bob Monahan was inspired to pen “The Judas Factor,” which reflect his thoughts on why the often vilified disciple wasn’t quite as bad as he’s portrayed in the scriptures. He claims that Judas may have only been following orders before greeting the Messiah with the kiss of death.
Monahan explained how it was part of Jesus’ plan all along to have one of his own hand him over in order for him to fulfill his mission of being nailed to the cross and eventually rising from the dead to free every one of their sins.
“The other 11 apostles when Jesus was being crucified were hiding. All 11 were from the Sea of Galilee. They were fisherman mostly. Judas was the only one who was a Judean. Did Christ know what he doing when picked him? I say ‘yeah.’ He knew what Judas was going to have to do and then he spent three years helping him understand why he was going to do it,” he claimed.
He went on to recount how Judas wound up being brutally killed soon after and dared to call the reviled apostle Jesus’ best friend. “To me, there’s no better friendship than to give up your own stuff for a friend. You know your friend needs to be delivered, you deliver him, knowing that your life is going to end and that people are going to hate your guts for the rest of your life,” he added.
The GRYC leader theorized that what Jesus went through was necessary in order to him to “change” things in the world. By attempting to convince people to view Judas differently than he has been seen for the past 2,000 years, Monahan hopes to present his readers with all of the endless possibilities available to then in order to achieve true “change” in their lives.
In the book, the author details his sometimes painful journey on the path to self-improvement, as he’s forced to watch every moment of his life on a DVD video with his best friend. While the 58-year-old author cringed at reliving some of his past mistakes, he knew that was the only way for him to change his life and, in essence, be reborn.
During the course of his interview with the Times Newsweekly, Monahan revealed numerous instances in which he was forced to drastically do an about-face in certain aspects of his life or possibly face dire consequences.
He spoke about hard choices he had to make when confronted with high blood pressure and diabetes. Monahan soon realized that he would need to eat better and lose weight if he hoped to ever see his any grandchildren walk down the aisle.
“Do I say ‘forget it’ and give up or do I say ‘I can change this?’ I want to be alive for my grandchildren, so I had to change my lifestyle. We have to choose what we do. Explore your possibilities and do what works for you. See, the diet that works for you doesn’t work for me. I’m not a big vegetable guy, but when I eat a vegetable, I choose the one I like. My diet will be different, but if we’re both losing weight, so what?” he reasoned.
His 250-page introspection of his own life aims at helping people selfexamine themselves, reconnect with their god and ultimately share their new beings with people around them to change the world for the better.
Monahan delves into why so many people have lost touch with their religion, claiming that many priests no longer connect with the followers of their respective churches. He asks why no one answers the phone when he calls his local rectory at 10 p.m. To that end, he wondered why members of the clergy–God’s representatives–aren’t out there visiting with sick individuals of their congregation.
He harkened back to the days when he would run into same priest every day in Manhattan who would dole out advice to him as a child when he was crossing the street on his way to elementary school. The writer went on to reminisce about the breakfast conversations he enjoyed as a college student with a priest at Manhattan College.
“We all have to be connected to a church or a god or something. Think it through. This is going to sound really strange, but they just took out Osama Bin Laden…as crazy as it sounds, his group [of followers] still connected to him. We need to do the opposite and connect to a god that’s loving and forgiving,” he observed.
“We’ve lost too much of that stuff. People out there are all over the place. Some are very angry at the church for a small group of folks who did stupid things and another whole group has just bailed out. The youth of the church doesn’t really exist anymore.”
In addition to calling out the priesthood to step up and reach out to the community, Monahan also advises regular lay people to become fair-minded and forgiving individuals as a way to truly worship and serve God the right way.
“The whole notion of going to church every Sunday is over and done with. You can’t go to Sunday Mass, come home and be prejudiced against someone else. We’re not always going to be successful; we’re mistake making machines. It’s the effort that makes us holy,” added the married father of three.
Monahan added that his book can be used as a spiritual guide for people of different religious denominations and can be enjoyed by adolescents as well as adults in their quest to find their god and bettering themselves.
For further details on The Judas Factor, visit www.thejudasfactor.org.
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