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, “Do quickly what you are going to do.” 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.
As much as Jesus tried helping the Apostles understand why he had come, they just didn’t get it. Judas betrays Jesus. Simon Peter doesn’t know where Jesus is going, and Peter is foretold that he will deny Jesus three times. As often as these guys mess up, I sympathize deeply with them, because I am sure that, if I were in their shoes, I’d be just as confused. Yet, there is always something that strikes me about the fact that these are the people that Jesus called to stand by his side, to pray with him, to carry on his message. These past 40 days, we too have been invited to stand with Jesus, to pray with him and to carry on his message. He knows that we’re not perfect. Jesus did not call the Apostles in spite of their sins; he called them because he knew they were deserving of mercy, just as we are.
—Marcos Gonzales, a Jesuit scholastic of the California province, is completing his masters of social work at Loyola University Chicago and interning with the Cook County Juvenile Probation Department.
Holy God, by the suffering and death of your son, Jesus,
may we receive your forgiveness and mercy. Amen.