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.
Jesus, in today’s Gospel, you reveal that you are going to be betrayed by people who are supposed to be your best friends. I know why Peter eventually lied and said he didn’t know you. He was afraid. I know because I’ve done the same thing.
When I’ve turned my back on you, I’ve often felt like such a hypocrite that I hated myself. I would think: Why am I so weak that I keep failing in the same way over and over again? I’m sure Peter must have felt the same way.
What I need help remembering, Jesus, is that you chose Peter even though he would betray you. You chose to be close to a weak man named Peter and now you choose to be close to me. You see all my weaknesses, fears, imperfections, and yet, you still love me.
Do I let my failures have the final say?
Lord Jesus, you know our fears and you know when we fail you, and yet you never stop loving us. Just as you didn’t let Peter’s denial define his relationship with you, help us to come back to you again and again so that we can follow you more fully. Amen.
—The Jesuit Prayer team
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