March 31, 2015

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.”
The Danish philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard, drew a distinction between being an admirer or a follower.
The difference, says Kierkegaard, is an “admirer” does not change his ways to conform to the lifestyle of the one he admires.
The “follower” does his best to change his life, to become like the one he admires.
Judas may have once been an admirer of Jesus; he was not a follower of The Lord.
Peter was a follower of Jesus; he did his best to become like Jesus.
So, the question is: Am I an admirer or follower of Jesus?
Like Judas, I certainly am an admirer. I admire Jesus’ loyalty to the mission entrusted to him by our Father, his ability to stand firm in the face of persecution, his humility in the face of unfair accusation, and his selflessness in giving his very life that others may have eternal life.
Like Peter, I attempt to be a follower of Jesus; I try to change my ways by becoming less judgmental, by serving rather than being served, and by being truthful rather than deceptive.
Like Jesus carrying his cross, I fall and then get up and keep going forward.
I take strength from Mother Teresa who said: “God does not call us to be successful. He calls us to be faithful.”
I am not always successful but I try to be faithful.
“Becoming like Christ is a long, slow process of growth.” Rick Warren