Holy Ground

Ezra Azra

Copyright 2022 by Ezra Azra


Image by Heather Truett from Pixabay
Image by Heather Truett from Pixabay 

It was twilight. Evening dark was fast approaching. Judas Iscariot felt he was losing his mind. He was desperate. He was in despair. He was slowly, and increasingly painfully, coming to the decision to kill himself. To hang himself.

He was sitting on a park bench. He stared blankly at everything around him, seeing nothing. An apprentice clergywoman appeared, seemingly mysteriously, and sat next to him, gingerly. She wore a black headscarf, in deferential respect to him.

Softly, "Mister Iscariot?" Judas turned slowly, and looked at the speaker. "I was there, sir. I know how to help you."

Mechanically, in a daze, "Nobody can help me. I betrayed a friend for money; for thirty pieces of silver. The friend has been hanged by the Governor. Nobody can help me.

I asked them to hang me. They laughed at me. They said if I went away and committed a real crime, they would do better than hang me. They would crucify me. Death by crucifixion takes hours and hours. I wish they would; among real criminals. Nobody can help me."

"I can help you, sir." Judas surveyed the clergywoman's apprenticeship garb. "You are not fully holy."

Ignoring Iscariot's observation. "Go to Holy Ground, Mister Iscariot. If you are sincerely repentant, you will be triumphant."

"Holy Ground?" "Yes. We are all informed of Holy Ground from the time we are children." "Holy Ground?"

"Yes. Remember? God said to Moses, Draw not nigh hither. Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is Holy Ground.

And the Lord said unto the people, Take heed to yourselves that ye go not up to Mount Sinai; nor touch the border of it. Whosoever toucheth the Mount, which is Holy Ground, shall surely die."

Recovering his presence of mind a little, Judas whispers, mostly to himself, "The Lord said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot, for the place whereon thou standest, is Holy Ground.

The long-deceased Moses and Elias on that high holy mountain Holy Ground where the voice of God was heard out of a cloud."

"Good, Mister Iscariot. You remember your Mother's good teaching. What else, sir? Go on."

Judas looked intently inquiringly into the clergywoman's eyes, and spoke slowly, brokenly, "On Holy Ground, Almighty Gods must forgive sincere repentance. They have no choice." "Yes."

"I am sincerely sorry for betraying my friend. How will I make the Gods believe my repentance is sincere, when I have my friend's blood on my hands?"

"It will be out of your hands, sir. On Holy Ground, the pain of sincere confession of guilt turns sweat into great drops of cleansing blood falling down to ground. Angels from heaven will appear, and 'gods ascending out of the Earth' for you and everyone else to see your forgiveness."

"I do not deserve forgiveness. My crime was long in its deliberate planning; it deserves the most agonizing death-by-crucifixion."

"You are right, Mister Iscariot, by saying your crime was long in its deliberate planning, but not by your deliberate planning, sir; by the deliberate planning of Almighty God, himself, hundreds and hundreds of years ago. Mister Iscariot, by God's own prophecy, you were chosen by God; and you had no say in the choosing.

Just as Moses had no say. Just as Jonah had no say. Just as that teenage girl in Nazareth, had no say. Just as everybody who is born into this so-evil-imperfect world, had no say in the choosing. Mister Iscariot." There was a long pause. Judas closed his eyes in pain of lethal guilt. The woman slowly looked around, hoping no stranger would be curious about a woman and a man sitting on a park bench in the evening; talking; nearly whispering.

"If it was out of my hands from the beginning, why do I suffer this pain of guilt?" "Because, sir, as will be revealed to you on Holy Ground, although you had no choice, your victim suffered, and that suffering you must share, and work through in purifying living truth that exists on Holy Ground, beyond even the ken of Almighty Gods."

A long pause as Judas slowly looks about him, as if searching for a presence. "You are a priest?" "Hoping to qualify some day, sir." "Your life is in service of Almighty God." "Yes." "Then, why do you want to help me find Holy Ground that exists in defiance of Almighty Gods?"

There is a long pause during which Judas does not take his eyes off the clergywoman; and during which the clergywoman averts his eyes. Eventually, she looks, in uncertainty, at Judas.

"Because I believe your friend who has been crucified, is innocent of any crime. Whenever I could, I was among those who listened to his teachings. I witnessed some of his healings of the sick, and of the maimed-from-birth. I was the woman who caused him to ask, 'Who touched me?' At his crucifixion, I was among the 'women who were there, beholding afar off.'

He was fortunate he found Holy Ground, on which it was revealed to him by Angels that his god was wrong to have committed him to such unrighteous suffering. He was heard to have cried to himself, My god, my god, why hast thou forsaken me?

In other words, sir, Holy Ground sentience erased in him the shackles of the unrighteousness of that messianic prophecy. His life-energy now is happily free forever of all gods' shenanigans against us mortals."

In a daze, mostly to himself, "My friend said he would return to us."

"Mister Iscariot, in many religions, holy individuals have promised to return to help. None has ever kept that promise simply because after death that happens not on Holy Ground, we return to the nothingness of dust to which we were cursed by the god who made us of dust: 'Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.' On Holy Ground our sincere repentance cleanses us of that genetic dust, sir. Hence, your friend will do better than that prophecy that predicted a Messiah will return sometime in the future: 'Of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven.'

Sir, after we serve a god's purpose, we are abandoned to a life of insignificance until we die into nothingness, like Jonah." "Like Samson." "Like King David." "Like John, the Baptist."

"On Holy Ground, Mister Iscariot, that unrighteousness does not exist. If you repent on Holy Ground this day, sir, you will join your friend 'this day in Paradise.'"

"You are not a full priest. How can you know that?" She moved closer to Judas on the bench, and spoke at nearly a whisper. "You know about 'The Index Librorum Prohibitorum,' Mister Iscariot?"

"From the time I was in High School. The list of books we are forbidden to read." "Do you know anyone who has read any of those books?" "No." "Now you do." "Who?"

She looked intently at Judas, and cautiously, so that only Judas could see, she slid a hand up closely against her garments and pointed-placed an index finger on her chest.

"Mister Iscariot, as you are fully aware, women are not taught to read. I was an only-child. My Father was a soldier; he died in a battle, serving his Nation. He had taught my Mother to read. My Mother taught me. Clergywomen are assigned menial duties. I volunteered to keep the library archives clean. In secret, I have read and continue to read books on that prohibited list."

She got up from the bench and walked a few steps back and forth. Judas, wide-eyed, kept his eyes on her. "Are you not in serious trouble for reading those books?" The clergywoman spoke softly, as she walked. "Yes. And we must not speak about how I manage to secretly access those books. All you need to know, Mister Iscariot, is that in 'The Index,' Holy Ground is explained as a provision made available, by a Sentience more powerful and all-knowing than Almighty Gods, to persons to free themselves from victimization by Almighty Gods."

"I do not know where to find Holy Ground." "This City was built around Holy Ground, Mister Iscariot. On this Holy Ground, our first godless primitive ancestors originated and celebrated their annual Scapegoat festivals.

Come, I will take you to our Holy Ground Garden of Gethsemane."

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