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Judas’ betrayal announced and Peter’s denial predicted

Gospel Reading: Jn 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.” … 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 he took the morsel, Satan entered him. So Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” … So he 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’t I 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.”

John the evangelist has references to time that have significant meanings. Jesus calls the first disciples at about four o’clock in the afternoon (1:39); Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews, comes to Jesus by night (3:1-2); Jesus and the Samaritan woman meet at Jacob’s well at about noon (4:6).

Four o’clock may be late in the afternoon, but it is not too late for Jesus to call the first disciples. Nicodemus, in the night of unbelief, comes to Jesus, the light of the world, for instruction. Noon time is supposed to be meal time and time for rest, everyone should be at home, but Jesus is at Jacob’s well conversing with the Samaritan woman, who later becomes a missionary to her fellow Samaritans (4:39).

The evangelist notes that it is night when Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, departs after taking the morsel of bread. When Judas leaves Jesus and the other apostles, he enters into the darkness of unbelief.

Judas’ betrayal, however, is not the end of Jesus’ salvific mission. It is a bridge into the glorification of the Son of Man (vv 31-32).

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2016,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: books@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.