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Tuesday of Holy Week




GOSPEL John 13: 21-33; 36-38

Reclining at table with his disciples, Jesus was deeply troubled and testified,

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

The disciples looked at one another, at a loss as to whom he meant.

One of his disciples, the one whom Jesus loved,

was reclining at Jesus' side.

So Simon Peter nodded to him to find out whom he meant.

He leaned back against Jesus' chest and said to him,

"Master, who is it?"

Jesus answered,

"It is the one to whom I hand the morsel after I have dipped it."

So he dipped the morsel and took it and handed it to Judas,

son of Simon the Iscariot.

After Judas took the morsel, Satan entered him.

So Jesus said to him, "What you are going to do, do quickly."

Now none of those reclining at table realized why he said this to him.

Some thought that since Judas kept the money bag, Jesus had told him,

"Buy what we need for the feast,"

or to give something to the poor.

So Judas took the morsel and left at once. And it was night.


When he had left, Jesus said,

"Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.

If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself,

and he will glorify him at once

My children, I will be with you only a little while longer.

You will look for me, and as I told the Jews,

'Where I go you cannot come,' so now I say it to you."


Simon Peter said to him, "Master, where are you going?"

Jesus answered him,

"Where I am going, you cannot follow me now,

though you will follow later."

Peter said to him,

"Master, why can I not follow you now?

I will lay down my life for you."

Jesus answered, "Will you lay down your life for me?

Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow

before you deny me three times."


REFLECTION

Peter said to him,

"Master, why can I not follow you now?

I will lay down my life for you."

Jesus answered, "Will you lay down your life for me?

Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow

before you deny me three times."


Why is Peter concerned about Jesus leaving? Was it because of fear? Fear that Jesus will be harmed. Or was he afraid that he would not see Jesus again?


During one of our Bible Study sessions, Father gave us this acronym for FEAR.

False

Evidence or Emotion

Assumed

Real


I can identify with Peter's reaction to His beloved Jesus leaving. My fear was when my husband was diagnosed with an incurable cancer. The first doctor gave him six months to live. He was my best friend. We did everything together: we prayed and went to church; we built a home; planted a garden; and raised our children. I feared that he would suffer and die and I would not be with my friend anymore.


My fear was false in that I did not trust that God's plan for us would be merciful. The emotional response overwhelmed my reasoning. I forgot the fact that only God knows how long we live on this earth. I assumed that the doctor was right.


The reality of what happened was that God listened to our prayers. There were other doctors God sent to us who were searching for ways to treat the cancer. My husband lived eleven years after his diagnosis. He did suffer. He did die. But God gave us precious time together. My husband saw his sons grown and two of our grandchildren before he died. Now he is still with us in spirit.


Jesus tells Peter the truth. Peter emotionally responded to Jesus' telling them he would not be able to go with Him now but he will go with Him later. Even though, Peter states, "I will lay down my life for you." The timing of his death is not at that moment. Jesus knows that he will give his life for Him after His death and resurrection.

Peter's weakness is his fear and Jesus knows that Peter will recognize it in his denial of Him.


Let us continue to journey with Jesus this Holy Week. Join us this Wednesday at FACE ZBS to study God's word from the Biblical context with a theologian, Father Michael J. T. Nguyen, C.Ss.R.










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