March 22, 2016
Jn 13: 21-33. 36-38
After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, “Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.” The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking. One of his disciples—the one whom Jesus loved—was reclining next to him; Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. So while reclining next to Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?” Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.”
So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot. After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “what you are going to do, do quickly.” Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the common purse, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the festival”; or, that he should give something to the poor. So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.
When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’
Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered, “Where I am going, you cannot follow me now; but you will follow afterward.” Peter said to him, “Lord, 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? Very truly, I tell you, before the cock crows, you will have denied me three times.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Wait, what?! They just LET HIM GO?!
I remember always thinking of this reading in such a way when I was a child. Jesus knows who is going to betray him, and he simply allows Judas to leave (“what you are going to do, do quickly”). Why not tie him up? He is outnumbered; keep him there and allow Jesus to get away…
Christ does not treat us in such a way. He knows that we will sin. He cannot stop us from doing it, but He can continue to love us and welcome us back into relationship with Him.
It is tempting to think that I do not betray God in my sin; I’m not THAT bad. Judas is not the only sinner in this story, however. Even Peter, who is held in the highest regard even among the apostles, will deny Christ. How do I deny my relationship with Jesus through my daily sin? Maybe I harm others with my words, or I allow impure thoughts to linger, or I ignore someone in need… I deny Jesus too. Fortunately, and especially in this time of Lent, I am reminded that Christ died for us sinners. His resurrection reminds me that His love for us endures our denials and betrayals.
-Mr. Kevin Van Winkle is a Social Studies teacher at Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha, NE.
Lord God, our loving Father, you know all my sins and failures, my weaknesses and temptations.
I come to you with deep sorrow in my heart for the wrong I have done and for the good I have failed to do.
Forgive me, accept me, strengthen me, now and always. Amen.
-Bishop David Konstant
Please share the Good Word with your friends!