Jesus reveals Judas’ betrayal and Peter’s denial. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of the Fear of the Lord from the Holy Spirit so he can be terrified by Hell and becoming separated from God and by seeking the Gift of Counsel so he can always strive for continual conversion in Christ. 

Liturgy

Holy Week – Tuesday – Jn 13:21-33, 36-38

Commentary

After washing the Apostles’ feet before the Last Supper, Jesus was deeply troubled as He considered the horrific sins of mankind and His coming Passion. Jesus now reveals one of His chosen men will betray Him (“He who ate My bread has lifted his heel against Me”; Ps 41:9). Despite Judas’ epic betrayal, Jesus loves him and anguishes over Judas’ coming suicide and his eternal damnation. 

Hearing that Jesus will be betrayed by one of them, the Apostles become agitated, wondering the betrayer’s identity. Peter asks John, one of the Sons of Thunder, who is reclining at table near Jesus, to ask Him to identify the betrayer. Judas, also honored to be near Jesus, is given food by Jesus’ own hand, by which Jesus identifies Judas as His betrayer. Compromised by his selfishness and greed, Judas freely accepts Satan’s entry into his heart, and he slinks off into the darkness of the night to betray the Son of God.  

Revealing His long-awaited hour has finally come at which the Trinity will be glorified despite the evil acts of men, Jesus confirms His departure and reveals that the Apostles will not be able to immediately follow Him. Omitted from today’s reading (v 34-35), Jesus makes the dramatic announcement of His new and binding commandment that those who would follow Him must “love one another, even as I have loved you.” Simon Peter, already agitated by Judas’ betrayal, worries about being separated from Jesus. Jesus confirms that Peter will indeed follow Him, a veiled reference to Peter’s coming martyrdom and resurrection. Despite Peter’s heartfelt promise to die for Him, Jesus reveals that Peter will deny Him three times before the cock crows. Jesus’ revelation of the betrayal and denial of the Apostles causes them much anguish and confusion.

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Be awed that, despite having supernatural Knowledge of how the Apostles will fail Him, Jesus heroically Perseveres (a part of Fortitude) in His Passion with perfect Charity for His Apostles and all mankind: He knows that Judas will betray Him; He knows that Peter will deny Him; He knows all the Apostles except John will be cowards and abandon Him at the Cross; He knows, despite the infinite suffering and gift of His Passion, many men across time will reject Him and will spend eternity in Hell. 

Be terrified by Hell and becoming separated from God

Realize: Judas betrays Jesus, feels remorse, and kills himself, and many saints have said that Judas was condemned to Hell. In contrast, Peter denies Jesus but repents, is forgiven, and becomes one of the greatest Saints in Heaven. 

Believe: Confront the dangers of Unrepentant Moral and Venial Sin (CCC 1846-1876).

Pray: Holy Spirit, help me to be terrified by the fires of Hell and give me the Gift of the Fear of the Lord so I have a deep and abiding fear of being separated from You because of my mortal sins and I always rush to be forgiven of my sins and reunited with You in the Sacrament of Penance.

Strive for continual conversion in Christ

Realize: Faith grows through small acts of faith and a life of sin is built on many small acts of sin; Judas’ pilgrimage to betrayal and suicide occurs in many small steps, one choice to sin at a time. 

Believe: Reflect upon your need for Continual Conversion in Christ (CCC 1427-1429).

Pray: Indwelling Spirit, give me the Gift of Counsel so I instantly recognize temptations, immediately know how to avoid sin, and am inspired to pursue continual conversion, one holy choice at a time.