Tuesday, March 27, 2018

“Peter denied Jesus; Judas betrayed Jesus. The bad news was that both of them fell off the track and were both filled with regrets, remorse and anguish for their mischievous behaviors. However it was only Peter who chose to rise again after falling! Judas chose to end it with suicide! - If you fall, you can rise again!”

What a mistake those who do not hope make! Judas made a huge blunder the day in which he sold Christ for 30 denarii, but he made an even bigger one when he thought that his sin was too great to be forgiven. No sin is too big: any wretchedness, however great, can always be enclosed in infinite mercy. - Pope John Paul I: (served as Pope of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City from 26 August 1978 to his sudden death 33 days later.)

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."

Today we hear the infamous promise of Saint Peter: “Why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you!” Our Lord knows that Peter is too weak to keep this promise. “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” Yet Jesus does not disown Peter. Within this encounter of human frailty and divine compassion, we see the Lord’s love for each of us reflected.

Despite the weakness of so many of His followers, Jesus does not abandon His intention to accomplish His Father’s Will. Jesus is abandoned, but He will not abandon His Father’s Will. Jesus still is willing to carry the Cross, for you in the same way as for His Blessed Mother, Saint Peter, and even for Judas Iscariot.

Perhaps the most striking action in today’s Gospel is Judas Iscariot’s betrayal of Our Lord. Jesus knows Judas better than Judas knows himself. Jesus knew that it would be by Judas’ betrayal that He would be offered the Cross. But Jesus also knew that after his betrayal, Judas would refuse to turn back to the Lord for forgiveness, contrary to the desire of Jesus’ compassionate Sacred Heart.

Certainly Judas’ betrayal was more serious than Peter’s. Nonetheless, Judas could have turned back to Jesus afterwards, and would have found in Jesus a merciful Redeemer. When Jesus said, “…later on you shall come after me,” these words could have applied to Judas as to any of the other apostles. It was Judas’ own choice to hang himself which prevented him from following after Our Lord. Pray that in our sins, each of us will always turn to our loving Redeemer.

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