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.”
Betrayal. We’ve all felt it. At times we’ve done it.
It is probably one of the most painful experiences for humans. The Gospel reminds us that Jesus ended his life feeling betrayed by two of his closest friends. Yet, he also ended his life faithful and confident that God would make things right.
I know an adult who still feels the pain of a high school betrayal, where friends he thought were close suddenly started distancing themselves from him and talking poorly about him. He now admits that he made the wrong choice back then. Instead of turning to God for peace and hope or talking with a trusted adult for guidance, he looked for new friends that helped him escape by partying. That brought him no real peace. Nor did he develop solid friendships with his “party” friends.
Holy Week is such a wonderful week because it shows that nothing can defeat a person who has surrendered to God and devoted him or herself to God’s work in the world. Jesus faced the worst the world could throw at him. But God got him through it all.
Perhaps this week we can look honestly at where we have felt betrayed, where we have betrayed others, or where we have betrayed God’s values. Knowing that Jesus felt the pain of betrayal and still forgave his betrayers, we can talk honestly with him about what we need – whether that is peace, more self-confidence, forgiveness, friends we can trust, or hope.
Am I betrayed or a betrayer? How does the answer to that question affect what I need from Jesus this week