March 22, 2016

The Gospel Today

Tuesday of Holy Week

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 (Sem. Philip Faustino S. Volante)

3.22

 

Today is Holy Tuesday and we are nearing the Paschal Triduum of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our Gospel started and ended with betrayal and denial; Judas betraying Jesus for 30 silver coins and Jesus predicting Peter to deny Him three times before the cock crows.

We have a tradition in our diocese we call “Gabi ng mga Taksil” or Night of the Betrayers where we commemorate the betrayal of Judas as the start of Christ’s passion and death. In this ritual, after every psalm is recited, we blow one candle and turn off the Church lights one by one until the whole parish is in total darkness. When we are in total darkness, the feeling of being alone, helpless, sad and afraid can be associated with it.

In one way or another, we have experienced (or still experiencing) this feeling of total darkness in our lives where we feel that we are all alone, helpless and afraid. We feel lost and have no one to go to in the darkest moments of our life.

In our Gospel for today, this is what I feel Jesus felt at that time He was betrayed and denied by His friends; total darkness. But instead of dwelling in that darkness, Jesus carried on to fulfil his mission of salvation. He never stayed in the darkness; he continued on and hurdled through the darkness even if it meant persecution and death to Him. Because it was clear to Him that at the end of this darkness was a bright light, the resurrection that waited not only Him, but the whole humanity.

We are all invited that whenever we are in the darkest, most betrayed and most denied moment in our lives, we must always look back at Jesus who endured and surpassed His darkness. Come to think of it, Jesus became man for us not only to save us from our sins, but more essentially to teach us that we can do what He had done. If Jesus surpassed the darkness and attained resurrection; we can also surpass our own darkness as well.

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