Gospel: Jn 13:21-33, 36-38
After saying this, Jesus was distressed in spirit, and said plainly, “Truly, one of you will betray me.” The disciples then looked at one another, wondering whom 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 in the dish and gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. 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 the table, understood why Jesus had said this to Judas. As Judas 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, 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 afterward you will.” Peter said, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I am ready to give my life for you.” “To give your life for me?” Jesus asked Peter. “Truly I tell you, the cock will not crow, before you have denied me three times.”
The betrayal coming from friends is a sad reality that repeats itself from time to time. Jesus too was betrayed by a friend. Perhaps it is because people who are not significant to us does not care about us and they do not matter much to us. They have their own program in life and they do not have the time to mind our own. It is however different with friends. They are so close to us that they literally know our life’s path and journey. With good intention, they sometimes interfere in our affairs and impose their own ideas. We are sometimes grateful or angry depending on how things turn out. It is this dynamics of interference from friends, welcomed or unwelcomed, that strengthens the bond or sours the relationship.
Judas was a friend of Jesus. He was loved as such. He however has his own ideas how Jesus should proceed in His life plan. His many interference were gently rebuffed by the Lord. This probably soured his heart. Instead of learning from the Lord, he chose to dwell in the Lord’s rejection. He failed to see the pedagogical import of the Lord’s action. Hence betrayal is but an expression of a heart that hardened through the years.