Jesus was distressed in spirit and said plainly, «Truly, one of you will betray me». The disciples then looked at one another, wondering who He meant. One of the disciples, the one Jesus loved, was reclining near Jesus; so Simon Peter signaled him to ask Jesus whom He meant. And the disciple who was reclining near Jesus asked him, «Lord, who is it?». Jesus answered, «I shall dip a piece of bread in the dish, and he to whom I give it, is the one». So Jesus dipped the bread and gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And as Judas took the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus then said to him, «What you are going to do, do quickly». None of the others reclining at table understood why Jesus said this to Judas. As he had the common purse, they may have thought that Jesus was telling him, «Buy what we need for the feast», or, «Give something to the poor». Judas left as soon as he had eaten the bread. It was night.
When Judas had gone out, Jesus said, «Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in him. God will glorify him, and He will glorify him very soon. My children, I am with you for only a little while; you will look for me, but, as I already told the Jews, so now I tell you: where I am going you cannot come». Simon Peter said to him, «Lord, where are you going?». Jesus answered, «Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but afterwards you will». Peter said, «Lord, why can't I follow you now? I am ready to give my life for you». Jesus answered, «To give your life for me! Truly, I tell you, the cock will not crow before you have denied me three times».
The humanity and the divinity of Jesus are in dance today. The humanity is distressed and the divinity is convinced. The death is immanent and terrifying, and the love of the Father and the divine glory is quite consoling. It is in the death of this very humanity in Him that is distressed, will save the humanity of ours, from destruction and give them life. What a contradiction……!
This contradiction is very much in us and seen in Peter. Who can deny the love of Peter, who was ready to give his life for the Lord? Still, the truth says just opposite. He wanted to save his life, by denying Jesus, particularly in private. To our surprise, the Lord has chosen to see his love and accept his human weakness. He knows that Peter will give one day his life in love for the Lord.
Many things in life remain strange and beyond our understanding. The disciples after living three years with Jesus, couldn’t understand what He was telling, particularly in a crucial moment of Jesus. No one understood the immanent accident coming before them. All the preparation seem to give no fruit and became totally to a state of uncertainty. Jesus alone new that one day His teaching we give them life and we are the fruits of the teaching of the Apostles. What a miracle and fore thinking of the Lord? Do we have the patience?
It was night. All these events pass in the darkness. What a tragedy of life? Many of us would like to ignore this and wish to be in a surrounding filled with light. Wait. There is a need to go beyond this darkness and this darkness is a necessity, and without this darkness, we can never understand the depth of God’s love and the pain undertaken by the Lord to save us. If we reuse to enter in this darkness of uncertainty, incomprehension, pain and suffering, there is no joy and resurrection. Covid-19, is one such darkness. Let us face it courageously. Have a wonderful day.
Action of the day: Face the darkness courageously.
«It was night»
Fr. Jean GOTTIGNY
Today, Holy Tuesday, the liturgy emphasizes the drama which is about to develop and will end with the crucifixion in Good Friday. «Judas left as soon as he had eaten the bread. It was night» (Jn 13:30). It is always night when we move away from he who is «light from light, true God from true God» (Nicaea-Constantinople Symbol).
The sinner turns his back on the Lord to gravitate around the created things, without referring them to its Creator. St. Augustine describes sin as «as a love of self to the point of despising God». That is, a betrayal. A prevarication that is the fruit of «an arrogance with which we want to emancipate from God and be only ourselves; an arrogance which makes us believe we do not need the eternal love; an arrogance with which we wish to become the only masters of our own life» (Benedict XVI). We may understand that Jesus, that night, has felt «distressed in spirit» (Jn 13:21).
Fortunately, sin is not the last word. The last word is God's mercy. This means, however, a “change” on our side. Inverting the situation to part from all creatures and become attached to God to find again the true freedom. Nevertheless, to change to God we should not wait to become sick of the false freedom we have been using. As Louis Bourdaloue denounces, «we would like to convert when we would get tired of this world or, rather, when the world would get tired of us». We should know better than that. Let us make up our mind right now. Easter time is the adequate time. In the Cross, Christ opens his arms wide to all of us. Nobody is excluded. Every repented thief has his place in Paradise. On condition, however, to change his life and remedy his shortcomings, like the thief in the Gospel: «And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal» (Lc 23:41).