Posted under Reflections on April 18th, 2011 by

When he had said this, Jesus was deeply troubled and testified, "Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me." The disciples looked at one another, at a loss as to whom he meant. One of his disciples, the one whom Jesus loved, was reclining at Jesus' side. So Simon Peter nodded to him to find out whom he meant. He leaned back against Jesus' chest and said to him, "Master, who is it?" 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. After he took the morsel, Satan entered him. So Jesus said to him, "What you are going to do, do quickly." (Now) none of those reclining at table realized why he said this to him. 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. So he took the morsel and left at once. And it was night…

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." Peter said to him, "Master, why can't I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you." 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." (Jn 13:21-33, 36-38)



Today’s reading speaks about two disciples in particular. They are Judas Iscariot and Simon Peter. This passage also speaks about their role in the last days of Jesus. They also become illustrations of what disciples would be in relation to Jesus. This story speaks about the disciples when Jesus is faced with suffering and death.


Judas betrays Jesus. Will a close disciple do such an act of betrayal? No one could ever imagine such behaviour from a disciple. The disciples themselves do not believe that Judas was going to do. When Jesus asked him to do what he was supposed to do they thought that Jesus was asking him to help the poor. No one will ever know that who will betray whom and when. Only Jesus knew because Jesus was able to understand and accept such behaviour from his disciple.


Peter would deny him three times. Peter was an enthusiastic disciple and he was always ready to go an extra mile for Jesus. (He was ready walk on the water). He was an overenthusiastic disciple. But he did not know himself fully well. He was aware what he would do when faced with challenges. Intentionally he was ready for anything but practically he was not.


Judas knew what he was about to do (for he planned it so); Peter did not know what he would do; Jesus knew everything.


Posted under Reflections on April 17th, 2011 by

Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served, while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him. Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair; the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. Then Judas the Iscariot, one (of) his disciples, and the one who would betray him, said, "Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days' wages and given to the poor?" He said this not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief and held the money bag and used to steal the contributions. So Jesus said, "Leave her alone. Let her keep this for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me." (The) large crowd of the Jews found out that he was there and came, not only because of Jesus, but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. And the chief priests plotted to kill Lazarus too, because many of the Jews were turning away and believing in Jesus because of him. (Jn 12:1-11)



Judas said that the money wasted on the perfumed oil could have saved and given to the poor. It was a man’s one year (300 days) salary. Certainly the ointment was expensive. Concern of Judas could have been also real but the author gave the motivation for his statement. Even good statements could have wrong motivation. Judas was seeing it from earthy (this worldly) and selfish perspective.


Jesus said to allow her to do according her plan. In whatever she did, though for different motivation, she revealed a divine plan. Jesus was able to see that she had a purpose in her doing and it was with regard to his death and burial. The motivation of Mary was, though earthy, it had something to do with Jesus and his burial. Her motivation was not purely selfish.


Jesus said: ‘You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me’. Jesus looked at the situation from the other worldly perspective. Jesus said you will not have me always with you. He looked at the present situation with his resurrection perspective. After his resurrection (in the other world) there would not be any more poor. Resurrection gave colour to the situation and changed the perspective. Jesus told his people to look at the situation with resurrection perspective and live the present life in that perspective.

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