March 22, 2016

Gospel JN 13:21-33, 36-38
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.”
Reflection:
“Reclining at table with his disciples, Jesus was deeply troubled and testified,
“Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”
Clearly, Jesus knew that He was about to be betrayed. Yet, He made no effort to interfere with Judas’ plan to betray Him.
“Master, who is it?”
Jesus answered,
“It is the one to whom I hand the morsel after I have dipped it.”
In handing Judas the morsel, Jesus identified Judas as His betrayer and told him: “What you are going to do, do quickly.”
Normally, we would expect to encounter anger and a demand for retribution on the part of a person who has been betrayed. But, with Jesus Christ, we see only acceptance of the will of God.
“When he had left, Jesus said,
“Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.”
He had come to make known the Father’s love of His children. Some had accepted the Good News, but many had not.
Jesus’ job was nearly done. The stage had been set for the continuing struggle between good and evil.
This was the beginning of the great peace that came over Jesus as He began the final steps of His journey to the cross. There was no room in His heart for revenge, bitterness or anger.
I wonder if Judas knew that Jesus loved him, even after his betrayal?

“Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love.”
Mahatma Gandhi