Catholic Men’s Lenten Gospel Pilgrimage – Holy Week – Tuesday – John 13:21-33, 36-38
After His merciful act of washing of the Apostles’ feet before the Last Supper, Christ reveals that one His chosen will betray Him (“He who ate My bread has lifted his heel against Me”; Psalm 41:9). Christ has been troubled during the evening as He anticipates the horrors of sin and His Passion and again becomes troubled as He considers the awful betrayal of Judas; Christ loves Judas despite his betrayal and anguishes over Judas’ coming suicide and his soul.
Announcing He will be betrayed by one of them, the Apostles become agitated, wondering who the betrayer is. Peter asks John, who is reclining at table near Christ (as was the common approach to table fellowship), to ask Christ to identify the betrayer. Judas, who also has the honor of being near Christ at table and receives food from Christ’s own hand, is identified by Christ as His betrayer. Compromised by his selfishness and greed, Judas accepts Satan’s entry into his heart and goes into the darkness of the night to betray Christ.
Revealing that His long-awaited hour has finally come in which the Trinity will be glorified despite the evil acts of men, Christ confirms His departure and that the Apostles will not be able to immediately follow. Simon Peter, already troubled by Judas’ betrayal, is concerned about being separated from Christ. In a veiled reference to death and resurrection, Christ reveals that Peter will indeed follow Him. Despite Peter’s heartfelt promise to die for Christ, Christ reveals that Peter will deny Him three times before the cock crows; after Judas’ betrayal, Christ’s prophecy of Peter’s three-fold denial must have cut deep in Peter’s soul.
1) Be awed that God so loves us that He would become Man to experience the fullness of human suffering: anguish, anger, physical suffering, betrayal, denial, etc.
2) Just as faith grows, so does the falling away of faith; Judas’ pilgrimage to betrayal and suicide occurs over time. During Holy Week, confront the dangers of Unrepentant Sin (CCC 1846-1876) and pray for Christ to give you the grace to repent and go to Confession, to resist sin and to grow in charitable acts.
3) Judas feels remorse, does not repent and kills himself. In contrast, Peter denies Christ but repents, is forgiven and becomes one of the greatest Saints. During Holy Week, realize the need for a Continual Conversion (CCC 1427-1429) and pray for Christ to help you not only avoid overt sins but to battle sins of omission (failure to act with charity to build Christ’s Kingdom).