March 27, 2018
by Michael Kaven
Creighton University's School of Medicine
click here for photo and information about the writer

Tuesday of Holy Week
Lectionary: 258

Isaiah 49:1-6
Psalms 71:1-2, 3-4a, 5ab-6ab, 15 and 17
John 13:21-33, 36-38

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The 1st Four Days of Holy Week - 14 min. - Text Transcript

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Every time I read today’s Gospel by John, I feel troubled. Now, certainly not in the way that Jesus must have felt as he reflected on his imminent betrayal and death. But I feel troubled because I can’t understand how Judas could betray Jesus for a few coins and how Peter could deny him three times to save himself. Jesus and his apostles were close. Their friendship and love for each other had developed over several years. To be betrayed in such a manner just didn’t make sense.  How could anyone who loves someone so much be so weak and give in to such temptation? I would never do such a thing! Well, easily said.

Although I would like to think that I would never betray Jesus, upon reflection, I know I do. Whether it is betraying the teachings of Jesus and the life he modeled for us, or betraying a close family member or friend through unkind words, or betraying oneself by acting in ways inconsistent with one’s values, it probably happens more than, at least, I would like to admit. Despite my allegiance to Jesus, I have to admit that, at times, I betray him.

As disconcerting as this is, John’s reading give me hope. Just as Jesus understood that his Father would accompany him through difficult times, we must understand that God will do the same for us. So, rather than despair, let us be mindful. Let us be on guard and catch ourselves during those times when temptation is great. And let us act according to Jesus’ teachings. Not out of fear, but out of love and with the understanding that God is with us along the way.

As we go on with our day, let us appreciate our close friendships. Let’s do what we can to nurture them despite the occasional betrayal. After all, Jesus not only reminds us that God is with us, but he also models forgiveness no matter the act - we can certainly do the same.

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