From the Word of the Day
When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spoke. Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spoke. He then lying on Jesus’ breast said to him, Lord, who is it? Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give the bread, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. He then went immediately out… and it was night. (John 13: 21-27, 30)
The liturgy of Holy Week often directs our attention to the restless Judas, the traitor. It is night! Judas appears in his entire dark, mysterious, and satanic dimension. “Jesus dipped the bread …gave it to Judas. As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. He then went out immediately…and it was night!”
The disciples look at each other with morbid curiosity to try to guess who the traitor is. They do not look at themselves. John leans over to Jesus and feels the beating of His heart so full of love. Peter, with his impulsiveness, is still unaware of his triple denial, states his fragile fidelity.
The disciples discover that there is a traitor among them even as Jesus goes through His wonderful gestures at the Last Supper. But God is faithful and His fidelity is greater than sin. The power of Christ’s love goes beyond betrayal.
From this we can draw a double warning. Above all, the community is invited to not become scandalized or discouraged when it finds traitors among them because Jesus lived this experience first. Betrayal has accompanied the Church since its beginning. The second warning is no less important. The community and each of us are seriously invited to not find comfort in false securities and never be overly self-confident because betrayal is always possible if we are not vigilant in prayer.
In my pause for silent contemplation, I will stay before Jesus’ love for His disciples, for me, even for Judas. I will ask Jesus to forgive me for all my betrayals.
The Voice of St. Augustine
Judas went out immediately. It was night. The one who left was also night. And when the one who was night left, Jesus said: “Behold, the Son of Man is glorified”.