The empty tomb.
Angels with a message:
"He is not here! He is risen!"
Reclining at table with his disciples, 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?”
“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 Judas 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 Judas took the morsel and left at once. And it was night.
When he had left, Jesus said,
“Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.
If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself,
and he will glorify him at once.
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.”
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 I not 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.”
--John 13:21-33, 36-38
As Lent draws to a close and the Easter Triduum is upon us I've been finding myself reflecting a lot on Judas, the betrayer. And while my heart is filled with sorrow over the ways that Judas and the other disciples failed Jesus in his darkest hour I am reminded of how we, too, fail Jesus. Though it is disturbing to dwell on Judas, on his 30 pieces and of Peter's pain upon rooster's cry, I believe there is great benefit in sitting with these sorrows for awhile. For it is in our weakness, in the reminder of our failings that we draw nearer to God and can more fully appreciate the joy of the Resurrection and the meaning it has in our lives.
As we quiet our hearts and minds and enter into Easter preparation, I encourage you to sit awhile with thoughts of Judas, of Peter and of disciples scattered, crouching, hiding in fear and self-loathing as our Savior marched to His death--alone. I encourage you to offer up to the Lord the things you've been working on this Lent--the sacrifices, alms and prayers with renewed fervor. With thoughts of tainted silver and mournful bird song in our minds, let us cling to the Lord more fully, our Rock and our Fortress. Let us open our hearts to the healing and mercy that only He can give. Let us receive with open arms His bountiful grace and love, flowing river of Living Water. Let us ache with pain and regret on this day that our Lord offered Himself for us. This holy day in which He turned bread and wine into Body and Blood.
Let us ache and wrestle and yearn.
We ache so when Easter comes, we may truly proclaim with hearts full:
Wishing you a most blessed Holy Thursday.