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».
We are called to discover the humanity of Jesus, a humanity that is totally similar to ours, which is upset and disturbed. In the disciples we see another humanity that is touched by this disturbance, expressing its desire to accompany him. Certainly we know this story of turmoil, one before God, thy will be done, and the other before man, no, I am not.
The passion of Christ was a passion of love. God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, not to judge us, but through Him the world would be saved. In this holy week of walking with Jesus, what is that act of love that will identify our friendship with Jesus, as a participation in his passion of love?
Action of the day: Joyfully live your pssion.
«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).