Peter and Judas and John

(from the 2010 Magnificat Lenten Companion)

This was an important moment. If the apostles understood nothing else in the upper room, they understood this. John stays as close as possible to Jesus, close enough to lean back against Jesus' chest. He does not want to miss a moment; his understanding may lag behind, but his love for Jesus keep shim right at Jesus' side. Peter professes his desire to follow Jesus even to the death. His resolve will lag behind, but his desire is there. Judas leaves. He leaves in order to betray this moment with Jesus and everything that went before. He leaves into the night. He was not yet at the point of no return. He could have said, "Lord, I don't want to go, I want to stay with you," and all would have been changed, all would have begun to heal. And who can imagine how Jesus would have responded? Jesus imagined it for us when he told us the story of the merciful father of the prodigal son. In the midst of my sin, I want to turn back to Jesus as Judas could have done. I want to stay with Jesus as Peter wanted to do. Therefore, I want the love of John. For it is only this kind of love that allows us to stay with Jesus even at the cross.

Reflection based on John 13:21-33, 36-38
Father Richard Veras

Father, the cross of your Son reveals you love for me.
May none of my crosses ever compromise my love for you.

Today's suggested penance: Do something kind for those in prison.