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 COCK WILL NOT CROW,
BEFORE YOU HAVE DENIED ME
St. Peter is known for his impulsive character but also his truly loving heart. So I think he sincerely meant it when he said he would give his life for Christ. But his self knowledge is somewhat defective because he does not take into consideration that he is sometimes cowardly that even a servant maid can intimidate him. It must be terrible to be denied by a friend, one of your best friends as Peter was to Jesus. In our own lives, we sometimes experience the betrayal of friends who in a moment of weakness do not defend us, do not side with us, do not admit being friends with us when threatened by someone that intimidates them. How about we ourselves? Were there not times when we pretend we do not know somebody who
is being criticized by a group for fear that we will be aligned with those they are criticizing. It takes guts to contradict people talking negatively about other people, to say something good about them, to clarify things that are being muddled in the conversation. I am always comforted when a friend stands up for me when I am being maligned. I remember a Sister friend who was listening to a priest criticizing me for disagreeing with an Archbishop. She said, I am sorry I agree with Sr. Mary John in this matter. Which made him stop talking. I think that took guts. And I am grateful for her loyalty and her courage in defending me publicly. Having such friends is really a gift from God.
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