The Betrayals of Jesus verses His Love
Reflection on the Gospel of the Tuesday
In Holy Week
Todays Gospel passage is from John chapter 13, and it is selective. It comes after the Washing of the feet of His disciples by Jesus at the start of the chapter, then is the First part of this reading; Jesus’ announcement of one of his Disciples Betrayal. Then comes Jesus’ declaration of The New Commandment which is skipped, and then comes Peter’s denial of Jesus, which is part of this Passage. So John the Evangelist is conveying is an important message by the way he has arranged his content.
Todays reading is about, betrayal, denial and rejection, and this theme, John will complete in its proper sense in Chapter 21, by reinstalling his disciples. John’s telling of these two falls of Jesus’ Apostles, is important. We all do distance Jesus from our lives some time or the other, or run away from him. But though our actions are wrong they are not unpardonable. What is unpardonable is to keep Jesus away from our life and lock Him out. Adam did that and that was his fall. Judas did it and he showed he had not learnt anything at the feet of Jesus, about Jesus’ love, patience and kindness. His grief was spiked with guilt and he was unable to see beyond his shame. That led him to his fate.
Impulsive Peter showed that he was not so impulsive after all. He had been attentive to the words of Jesus, he believed, not in a impulsive way, but he was thoroughly convicted about Jesus’ deity and his words. Therefore he accepted his actions, and was truly broken because of them and I believe, if like Paul he would voice about the thorn in his flesh, this would be it; the very grace to keep him humble. Peter accepted his actions, faced them and came before Jesus, did not run away.
The way Peter faced his wrong actions, is the way we need to look at ourselves also. We do err, sometimes in big ways, but all that is okay. God can take and does, and turns them into blessings for us. But if we let a false sense of understanding of God, make us feel guilty, guilt then ensnares us and leads us away like the Prodigal Son, not to a good life, but an inhumane one.
God/Jesus is Love and Mercy, steadfast and ever wise. He knows our faults and failing, and as yet he wishes to be part of our life. He promises; ‘Come them, and experience my Love, go out with me everyday, sit at my feet, and feed of me. I am all you need to hold on to, and just as those in the Exodus Desert, bitten by the snakes, lived when they looked at the bronze serpent, likewise you will come into full life.’