Jesus’ last appeal to Judas
April 16, 2019 Tuesday, Holy Week 1st Reading: Is 49:1–6 Gospel: Jn 13:21–33, 36–38
Jesus was distressed in spirit and said plainly, “Truly, one of you will betray me.” (…) And the disciple who was reclining near Jesus asked him, “Lord, who is it?” Jesus answered, “I shall dip a piece of bread in the dish, and he to whom I give it, is the one.” So Jesus dipped the bread and gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And as Judas took the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus then said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” (…) Judas left as soon as he had eaten the bread. It was night. When Judas had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in him. God will glorify him, and he will glorify him very soon. My children, I am with you for only a little while; you will look for me, but, as I already told the Jews, so now I tell 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 afterwards you will.” Peter said, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I am ready to give my life for you.” Jesus answered, “To give your life for me! Truly, I tell you, the cock will not crow before you have denied me three times.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
Peter and Judas shared the same path of betrayal. But in the end they parted ways, with Peter following the path to contrition, and Judas the path to perdition.
As treasurer of the group with funds so meager, Judas was a trusted friend-follower. Yet he betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, like Jesus was at the lowest in Judas’ value barometer. Wasn’t Judas’ estimate of Mary’s bottle of perfume much higher? When conscience bothered Judas he returned the 30 pieces of silver at once. But his remorse was not powerful enough to bring him to repentance. Bothered by guilt yet held captive by pride, Judas decided to commit suicide.
Let’s talk about Peter. As leader of his core group Peter was related to Jesus by extraordinary brotherhood. Jesus even moved to Peter’s house in Capernaum when his fellow Nazoreans drove him out of the neighborhood. Peter promised Jesus his life for better and for the worst. But he betrayed Jesus three times when Jesus needed him the most.
Peter was humble enough to apologize; Judas’ suicide was not repentance but arrogance in disguise. Peter got off from the quagmires of human weakness by God’s intervention. He was able to strengthen his brothers as Jesus had asked him before the Passion.
We too may have betrayed God one way or another. But grace can transform us if we follow the way of Peter. —(Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM.
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