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John 13:31-33, 36-38

The Word of God

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 afterwards." 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.

John 13:31-33, 36-38
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • “And it was night” is not simply a description of the time of day; it is a stark image of the gloom of sin and rejection. Judas walks into the darkness – away from Jesus, the true light which the darkness cannot overcome. He will die in despair, in a pride so stiff-necked that it selects the misery of damnation rather than the happiness offered by a kindly God.
    • We rightly hesitate to answer affirmatively the question, “Will you lay down your life for me?” But there is no ambivalence in Jesus – he has already decided to lay down his life for us, in purest love.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Two treacheries: Judas went out to grab his money, betray Jesus, and kill himself in despair. Peter despite his protests would deny his Lord; he faced his own appalling guilt, wept bitterly, and his failure was not the end of his mission, but the beginning.
    • Success is what I do with my failures. Teach me to trust in your love, Lord, and to learn from my mistakes and treacheries.
    • Betrayal is the ultimate let-down. Judas, once the friend, is now the one who hands Jesus over, and in handing over Jesus, hands over the other disciples into a world of shared betrayal. All left Jesus in very understandable fear. Betrayal is calculated and planned, not like the denial of Peter later. In Holy Week prayer we enter into the betrayal of Jesus, and in the compassion of our heart, sympathise with him, and offer ourselves as best we can as companions and partners in his suffering and death.
    • Peter hit deep points of his life here. His sureness of following Jesus was challenged by Jesus himself. He would later find himself weak and failing in this following. But this would not be the last word; even when Peter said later that he didn't know Jesus, there would be time for taking it back and speaking it with his life. We oscillate in our following of the Lord; these days let us know in the certainty of Jesus' love that there is always another day, another chance, another joy in our following of Jesus.