Tuesday of Holy Week | Gospel Reflection
Jesus is deeply troubled. Night has fallen. One apostle is about to betray Jesus and another is going to deny him three times. The darkness of the coming events is palpable in this Gospel reading.
Picture yourself as one of the apostles sitting around the table in this scene. I imagine that their natural human reaction to Jesus’ words would be one of apprehension. They did not know who would betray Jesus, and they did not know where he was going and why they wouldn’t be able to follow him there. Peter is particularly concerned. First, he asks John to find out who the betrayer will be. I imagine that a small part of Peter is afraid it might be him. Later, when Jesus tells his friends that they cannot follow him, Peter protests, saying, “Master, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Although his zeal to follow Jesus is admirable, we know that when the time comes, his fear wins out and he denies Jesus.
In this moment, the apostles could not see the sorrowful mysteries that were about to unfold. Neither could they see the glorious resurrection that would follow. But we can. We know this story and we know how it ends. Although we are headed into somber days during which we will watch as Jesus is abandoned, humiliated, and put to death, we know that Easter is waiting on the other side. Jesus endured his passion so that we might live without fear. He suffered so that we might be reunited with him after we’ve denied him and hidden our faces. So let’s recognize that we, like Peter, can be weak and fearful. But we, like Peter, can one day dwell with Jesus forever in eternal life.