After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, ‘Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.’ The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking. One of his disciples—the one whom Jesus loved—was reclining next to him; Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. So while reclining next to Jesus, he asked him, ‘Lord, who is it?’ Jesus answered, ‘It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.’ So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot. After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, ‘Do quickly what you are going to do.’ Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the common purse, Jesus was telling him, ‘Buy what we need for the festival’; or, that he should give something to the poor. So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night. When he had gone out, Jesus said, ‘Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, “Where I am going, you cannot come.” Simon Peter said to him, ‘Lord, where are you going?’ Jesus answered, ‘Where I am going, you cannot follow me now; but you will follow afterwards.’ Peter said to him, ‘Lord, 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? Very truly, I tell you, before the cock crows, you will have denied me three times.
This passage is part of the description in John’s Gospel of what we call the “Last Supper”; and it should have been a most joyful occasion – but a shadow has fallen over it…In the first place Jesus predicts that one of his closest associates is going to betray him. What feelings does that arouse in you?
When Judas goes out, the evangelist comments that “it was night”. What do you think the importance of this is? Do you find any resonance at all to our present experience of the pandemic?
Jesus says “the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him”. How can that possibly be, do you think? How do you imagine it?
Now listen again to this story. Imagine the gestures of the disciples… notice their responses… Where might you be if you stepped into the scene?
As we draw this time of prayer to a close, step a little further into the scene…perhaps taking the part of one of the disciples, you might like to think about what you would say to Jesus on this occasion. What would you express to Jesus about the effects of the current pandemic on the life of the world…on your own life?
We adore you, O Christ and we bless youbecause by Your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.