“‘Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.’”
Today we hear the infamous promise of Saint Peter: “Why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you!” Our Lord knows that Peter’s promise is one that he is too weak to keep. Yet does Jesus disown Peter? In this we see the Lord’s love for us. Despite the weakness of his followers, Jesus does not abandon his intention to carry out His Father’s Will. Jesus still is willing to carry the Cross, for you in the same way as for Saint Peter, and even for Judas Iscariot.
Perhaps the most striking action in today’s Gospel is Judas Iscariot’s betrayal of Our Lord. Jesus knows Judas better than Judas knows himself. Jesus knew that He would have to be betrayed in order to accept the Cross. But Jesus also knew that after his betrayal, Judas would refuse to turn back to the Lord for forgiveness.
Certainly Judas’ betrayal was more serious than Peter’s, but nonetheless Judas could have turned back to Jesus afterwards, and would have found in Jesus a merciful Redeemer. When Jesus said, “…later on you shall come after me,” these words could have applied to Judas as to any of the other apostles. It was Judas’ own choice to hang himself which prevented him from following after Our Lord. Pray that in our sins, we will always turn to our loving Redeemer.