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.”
In the David-Goliath episode we read two days ago, some verses were omitted for the sake of brevity (1 S 17:34-36). In those verses we learn that as a shepherd David would attack any lion or bear which preyed on his sheep. This he did many times and every time at the risk of his life. Thus we saw that David was a man of strong character. But today’s episode shows him to be more than that. It shows him to be a man of noble character, ever respectful of the divine order of things and unwilling to seek personal revenge. Here he is, a man on the run with 3,000 first-class soldiers hunting him down. He can end it all with one single thrust of his sword into the heart of Saul, his arch-enemy. But he resists the temptation and lets Saul go scot-free. Even Saul has to bow before such greatness of heart: “You are right and I am wrong,” he admits in the end.
To forgive an enemy is not only to obey a strict commandment of Christ (Mt 5:43-48). It is also to escape the dreary cycle of hate and to emerge into greatness of soul.
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