Reclining at table with his disciples, Jesus was deeply troubled and testified, “Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” The disciples looked at one another, at a loss as to whom he meant. One of his disciples, the one whom Jesus loved, was reclining at Jesus’ side. So Simon Peter nodded to him to find out whom he meant. He leaned back against Jesus’ chest and said to him, “Master, who is it?” Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I hand the morsel after I have dipped it.” So he dipped the morsel and took it and handed it to Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot. After Judas took the morsel, Satan entered him. So Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” Now none of those reclining at table realized why he said this to him. Some thought that since Judas kept the money bag, Jesus had told him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or to give something to the poor. So Judas took the morsel and left at once. And it was night.
When he had left, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him at once. My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. You will look for me, and as I told the Jews, ‘Where I go you cannot come,’ so now I say it to you.”
Simon Peter said to him, “Master, where are you going?” Jesus answered him, “Where I am going, you cannot follow me now, though you will follow later.” Peter said to him, “Master, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow before you deny me three times.”
We are preparing for the Easter of the Lord and it is important that we do not become Judas in our modern world. The outside world may not be able to identify all that we live and our inner world. However, all that is invisible to the world is visible and before God. We must be aware of this truth and respond positively to the call to conversion.
In this Holy Week, we try to understand the deep pain of Jesus and learn from him how to live our pain in a meaningful way. It is in these difficult moments of Jesus that we understand his humanity, which we are called to imitate. We accept our own cross, in the hope of the resurrection, believing in the divine fulfilment. We must discern the divine will, and learn to act according to it.
In this humanity of Jesus, particularly in the ignorance of the disciples, of the events to come, God has chosen to reveal the divinity, which was incessible to us. We may not know in details, all that God under go to save us. These painful moments of Jesus were the grace that God has willed for our conversion. His pain is the call of our conversion, and the source of discovering the deep love of God for us. If we refuse to understand this pain, then we reject the divine love.
Action of the day : Discern the divine will and learn to take up your daily cross.
«Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in him»
+ Fr. Lluís ROQUÉ i Roqué
(Manresa, Barcelona, Spain)
Today, we are given to contemplate Jesus in the darkness of His Passion days. Darkness that will be over when He will exclaim: «It is finished» (Jn 19:30); as of that moment, Easter's light will flare up. In Easter's glowing night —in opposition to the darkness of the vigil of his death— Jesus' words will become true: «Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in him» (Jn 13:31). We can indeed say that each step Jesus takes is a step from death to Life and it has a Paschal character, expressed by an attitude of total obedience to the Father: «I have come to do your will» (Heb 10:9); attitude corroborated by words, gestures and deeds which are opening the way to his glorification as the Son of God.
Today, we also contemplate the person of Judas, the traitor apostle. And his heart, full of evil intentions he is seeking to dissimulate; hipocritically, he is also trying to cover up the greediness that rules and blinds him, despite he is so close to him, who is the Light of the world. In spite of being surrounded by Light and exemplar unselfishness, for Judas «it was night» (Jn 13:30): thirty silver coins, «the devil's excrement» —as Papini qualified money— have dazzled and gagged him. Dominated by avidity, he betrays and sells Jesus, the most honored amongst honored men; but Judas experienced despair too, for money is not everything and it can definitely enslave us.
Finally, we consider Peter with attention and devotion. Everything in him is good will, love, generosity, simplicity, nobility... He is Judas' counterpoint. It is true that three times Peter denied Jesus, but his intentions were not mean; he just did it out of cowardice and human feebleness. «He denied him for the third time, and when Jesus Christ looks at him, he immediately cried, and bitterly he cried» (Saint Ambrose). Peter's remorse and repentance was sincere as shown by his excruciating pain full of love. This is why, Jesus afterwards, reaffirmed him in the vocation and in the mission He had prepared for him.