Tuesday of Holy Week
Isaiah 49:1-6 + John 13:21-33,36-38
March 27, 2018
“Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”
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.