“Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”

Today we hear some of the early verses of John’s account of the Last Supper (Jn 13:21-33, 36-38).  It begins with Jesus’ prediction of a betrayal (see above) followed by Peter and John collaborating to find out to whom Jesus is referring.  He points out Judas who is then instructed by Jesus to hurry and do what he intends; Judas complies.  Immediately following the hasty exit Jesus tells the remaining Eleven that His glorification has now come, that He must soon leave, and that they cannot come after Him right away.  Peter exclaims that he wishes to follow Jesus and that he would die for Him.  Jesus questions Peter’s sincerity and then predicts Peter’s threefold denial.  We find it easy to heap scorn on Judas.  He is the classic “bad guy.”  Portrayed as a conniver and thief, he seems to be the antithesis of the one who he has as his master.  In fact, Jesus refers to him as a “devil” (Jn 6:70) and says of him that “it would be better for that man if he had never been born” (Mt 26:24).  So the act he ultimately commits is an evil act, particularly as it comes against the perfect man, the Son of God.  We wonder how he could do such a thing?  Did he not have access to Jesus daily?  Didn’t he listen to His teachings, see the miracles, share in the joy of His company?  Let’s stop this litany right there.  Do we not have access to Jesus daily?  Don’t we listen to His teachings, see and experience miracles, share in the joy of His company?  Forget about Judas — what about us?  Is Jesus talking to us here?  Do we betray Jesus for our thirty pieces of silver (Mt 26:15), whatever that might be (e.g., money, possessions, illicit desires, immoral behavior, silence in the face of evil)?  Are we inclined to sell out Jesus because of personal disagreement with the teaching of the Church?  Or, maybe, does our reluctance for confrontation, lack of knowledge on moral matters, pliable spine, or desire for acceptance betray the One we purport to love and live and die for?  Don’t worry about Judas — his judgment day has come and gone.  Ours yet awaits.  When we meet the Lord, will He say He knows us or not (cf. Lk 13:22-28)?

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