Daily Reflection – 4/4/2023
When he had said this, 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’s side. So Simon Peter nodded to him to find out whom he meant. He leaned back against Jesus’s 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.” [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 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 13:21-33, 36-38)
The darkness of that night seemed pervasive. Jesus has his last supper with those he loved. Among them were two who would betray him. Judas would hand him over to his death, Peter would betray him as well. The two betrayals were quite different though. Judas’ was one of calculation, Peter’s one of weakness.
In that story, lies each of us . . . perhaps at different points on the spectrum. We too have betrayed Jesus and those around us many times.
It is not simply Jesus and his love that we betray. We betray ourselves. Every betrayal of Jesus betrays ourselves. We hand ourselves over to the night, betraying our life to death, our love to self-interest, and our hope to despair. We turn away from the light, the source of our life, and once again Jesus is troubled in spirit.
In my years of marital counseling, the feeling of being betrayed by others carried the deadliest weight for a husband, wife, sister or brother.
It is one of the most painful experiences in life, especially if the person who betrayed you was someone you loved and trusted, a person that you believed also cared about you.
Today, we are reminded that it was Christ who suffered first. We are reminded that it was He who underwent betrayal, humiliation, and torture, before any of us would ever experience pain, rejection, or discomfort of any sort.
No act of humbling sacrifice can compare to that of a God who chose to become one of us and embraced what most of us would avoid.
Knowing that we will all face our trials and tribulations; Jesus constantly prepares us and gives us strength just as He prepared His disciples in the Last Supper.
At times in our lives, we also have been hurt, disappointed, perhaps betrayed by someone we loved. What a gift it is that we can turn to Jesus when we are broken by betrayal or deceit. No matter what we experience in life, Jesus has trod the path before us. He understands. He loves us and longs to walk with us!
That should bring us a lot of hope, if we ever think that we are so marred by our sins, that we might wonder if God could ever love us. The answer is as direct as it could be. God still loves us with all His heart.
We can have the confidence to know that God will always receive us back into His loving arms, because even if we are not willing to lay down our lives for Jesus, He has already laid down His life for us.
Prayer of The Day
“Give me, O Lord, a steadfast heart which no unworthy thought can drag downwards; an unconquered heart which no tribulation can wear out; an upright heart which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside. Bestow upon me also, O Lord my God, understanding to know you, diligence to seek you, wisdom to find you, and a faithfulness that may finally embrace you; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.” (Prayer of Thomas Aquinas)
As we make the journey of Christ’s Passion in this holiest of weeks, it is time to release our grip on the sins that we cling to in fear or shame. Instead, let us cling to the mercy of Christ. Jesus faced many forms of sin, especially during his Passion, including betrayal, denial, and abandonment by his own friends. Yet our faith reminds that at this dark hour, Jesus gives his life and “becomes the source from which the forgiveness of our sins will pour forth inexhaustibly”. Turn to Jesus in this time of trial. His love is enduring. His love is strengthening. His love is all forgiving.
1 thought on “Even In Our Betrayal, His Love Endures”
After experiencing betrayal by a spouse, I will say the hurt was more than when my mother passed. The consequences were long lasting and I am still working to heal from it. It really drives home the love Jesus had for us because I haven’t even totally reached forgiveness, much less sacrificing my life for this person. Thank you for these reflections each day. They are a blessing to me.