John 13:21-33, 36-38 Reflection: Judas Iscariot Betrays Jesus

A reading from the gospel according to John 13:21-33, 36-38

21 Reclining at table with his disciples, Jesus was deeply troubled and testified, “Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”
22 The disciples looked at one another, at a loss as to whom he meant.
23 One of his disciples, the one whom Jesus loved, was reclining at Jesus’ side.
24 So Simon Peter nodded to him to find out whom he meant.
25 He leaned back against Jesus’ chest and said to him, “Master, who is it?”
26 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.
27 After Judas took the morsel, Satan entered him. So Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.”
28 Now none of those reclining at table realized why he said this to him.
29 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.
30 So Judas took the morsel and left at once. And it was night.
31 When he had left, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.
32 If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him at once.
33 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.”
36 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.”
37 Peter said to him, “Master, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.”
38 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.”

Reflection: For the glory of God

It was night time. Darkness temporarily enveloped the world. The hour has come but the apostles were still clueless as to what was going to happen except Judas Iscariot, the traitor and thief. At this hour, the gospel passage tells us that the devil entered him and he left quickly to join the dark forces. In the dark of night, the greatest betrayal happened. Of course, we already know that the whole salvific plan included him but his temerity to take money in exchange for acting as the inside man for the arrest of Jesus is something everyone needs to reflect on. Many of us are easily blinded by the lure of silver and gold.

On the other hand, there was Peter, the blustering and impulsive yet humble apostle. He is so quick to come to Jesus’ defense but he is unaware of his own frailty. He denied Jesus three times as was prophesied already but when he came to his senses, he immediately lowered himself in repentance.

Will you lay down your life for me?

This is a question not just for Peter but also for everyone. Who is really ready to give up his or her own life for the sake of the gospel? Who is willing to stand up to defend Jesus in spite of the dangers of persecution and/or death? It is easy to claim faithfulness during fair weather but how many of us remain faithful when the strong storm comes along?

Like Jesus, may we give glory to God our Father in sunny days and in stormy nights.

Each one of us is given a role to play in our lifetime. Jesus’ role is to be our savior. The apostles too have their own roles assigned to them. Peter in particular was to be their leader. and Judas Iscariot? It’s a subject that needs more reflection.

Gospel Reading and Reflection
Gospel Reading and Reflection

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