A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John.
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?”
“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.”
Good News Reflection:
In today’s first reading, which lines of scripture bring you comfort?
If you ever felt unwanted, undervalued, or rejected as a child, God’s comforting embrace is in the words: “From my mother’s womb, the Lord gave me my name.”
If your plans, dreams and hard work have been crushed or overlooked or rejected, you will find encouragement and affirmation in the words: “Though it seems I have toiled in vain and uselessly spent my strength, nonetheless my reward is with the Lord.”
If you have been treated unjustly or your gifts and talents and insights have been blocked or considered worthless by others, you will find your value in the words: “I am honored in the eyes of the Lord, and my God is now my strength!”
In all of these situations, we have experienced betrayal.
God puts certain people into our lives to nurture us and uplift us, but all have betrayed us in one way or another, at one time or another.
Some are major betrayals from which there is no recovery on this side of heaven. We should always pray for healing and reconciliation and do whatever we can to bring God’s love into that relationship, but if we want to be true followers of Christ, we need to also accept these betrayals in the same way that Jesus did in today’s Gospel reading.
Jesus knew today’s hymn from Isaiah. Undoubtedly, he recalled it to gain comfort and strength as he faced his betrayers.
The only way to find rest in the loving, soothing, comforting embrace of our Father is by looking at Jesus instead of focusing on what our betrayers should and should not have done. He knows how we feel. He is experiencing the betrayal with us!
In his concern for us, we find deep healing and renewed peace.
Accept your betrayals as an intimate connection to Jesus. Let go of them by nailing them to his cross. Then turn away from their ugliness by making the decision to forgive your betrayers.
Thank Jesus for taking your pain upon himself. Kiss his wounds the next time you receive him in the Eucharist by kissing the Host. This will become your own personal resurrection!
Praised be to You, my Lord Jesus! You have borne all our evil deeds, so when we fall into them we discover salvation in You alone. Amen.
© 2017 by Terry A. Modica