Tuesday, April 3, 2012

To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it

"Put up willingly with the faults of others if you wish others to put up with yours." St John Bosco

Gospel text (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."

Many people are imprisoned in a tomb of unforgiveness. A heavy stone stands between them and the risen Christ. Some refuse to forgive others, especially family members. Many maintain God has forgiven them but they can't forgive themselves.

If we were to define sin, we could say that in effect the sinner (all of us) turns his back on the Lord to gravitate around created things, without referring them to its Creator. St. Augustine describes sin «as a love of self to the point of despising God». That is, a betrayal. Fortunately, sin is not the last word. The last word is God's mercy.

The Bible speaks not of those who refused to forgive themselves but of those who refused to believe in God's forgiveness. Judas is a prime example. He despaired of being forgiven, so he hung himself (Mt 27:5). Like Judas, some feel they have committed unforgivable sins. However, the only unforgivable sin is denying the Spirit's revelation that we can always be forgiven. Jesus loved Judas unconditionally. Jesus symbolized His sacrificial love for Judas by washing Judas' feet (Jn 13:5ff). Jesus showed His love for Judas with a personal touch by giving Judas a select morsel at the Last Supper (Jn 13:26). Jesus even died on the cross for Judas, His betrayer.

Unfortunately, many go to Confession but still feel guilty. They may say they believe God has forgiven them, but they actually don't believe it. By faith, roll away the stone of unforgiveness.

Jesus loves you more than you love yourself. He suffered for you. He was no victim of circumstances, but a Victim of love.


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