Tuesday in Holy Week
Bl. Pedro Calungsod
1st Reading: Is 49:1-6
Listen to me, O islands, pay attention, peoples from distant lands.
Yahweh called me from my mother’s womb;
he pronounced my name before I was born.
He made my mouth like a sharpened sword.
He hid me in the shadow of his hand.
He made me into a polished arrow
set apart in his quiver.
He said to me, “You are Israel, my servant,
Through you I will be known.”
“I have labored in vain,” I thought
and spent my strength for nothing.”
Yet what is due me was in the hand of Yahweh,
and my reward was with my God.
I am important in the sight of Yahweh,
and my God is my strength.
And now Yahweh has spoken,
he who formed me in the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him,
to gather Israel to him.
He said: “It is not enough
that you be my servant,
to restore the tribes of Jacob,
to bring back the remnant of Israel.
I will make you the light of the nations,
that my salvation will reach to the ends of the earth.”
Gospel: John 13:21-33, 36-38
Jesus was distressed in spirit and said plainly, “Truly, one of you will betray me.” The disciples then looked at one another, wondering who he meant. One of the disciples, the one Jesus loved, was reclining near Jesus; so Simon Peter signaled him to ask Jesus whom he meant.
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.”
None of the others reclining at table understood why Jesus said this to Judas. As he had the common purse, they may have thought that Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or, “Give something to the poor.” 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.”
John (or rather the Johannine school) places himself as near to Jesus as he places Judas away. Such dualism is characteristic of John’s gospel: light/darkness, above/below, etc. John is “reclining near Jesus,” whispering to him but Judas goes out, and “it was night.” But notice that there are two betrayers in this reading; the other is Peter. But Peter had the courage (or perhaps the opposite) to wait for forgiveness; and he was forgiven. Tragically, Judas didn’t wait; he too would have been forgiven. If he was just greedy for money, he should have been happy; but he was plunged into despair; he must have had some plan that went wrong—some plan to speed things up. It was typical of him, then, not to wait. In a tragic twisted way he died for his Master. Without doubt, God the Father, slow to anger and rich in mercy, took pity on him.
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