Jesus, John, Peter and Judas together set up the preparation for the climax during the farewell meal. Jesus, knowing what is to come shortly gets distressed in his human spirit. Like any other person in trouble, he tries to verbalize his innermost feelings in the circle of his friends. It must have been devastating for him to notice that not even his beloved disciple John who was reclining on his side understands his inner groaning. Yet Jesus moves on to love his betrayer explicitly by sharing the bread. By this act he implies that, Judas, I love you no less, in spite of the forthcoming painful betrayal of friendship. A beautiful example of love in its pure form! A marvelous aspect of God that no one is spared from his passionate love regardless of the weaknesses.
Will I be able to love someone when I know that there is a trace of betrayal in that person? Jesus did! Am I to follow Jesus extending my understanding to others, beyond my own petty issues? Jesus exemplified this sort of love during his passion. He restored the ear of the high priests’ slave while he was arrested. Besides, while carrying the cross among insults and jeering, he finds time to console the weeping women at Jerusalem. Moreover, even while hanging on the cross, he consoles and assures the repentant thief. Rarely do we encounter such persons who forgetting their own pain chooses to console others in their misery. Indeed, they take the role of wounded healers bestowed with divine grace and human heart. Such persons mediate the seeping in of divine love in human form to those weary souls!
Further, I am invited to check in whether there is a Peter in me, who signaled John to ask Jesus about the one who is to betray him and showed that he lacked the courage to encounter the Lord directly. At times like Peter we too make promises saying, “Lord, I am ready to give my life for you”. The consequence is repeated betrayal in big and small ways from our side. Yet, what Jesus has to offer to us is the loveliest words, “I love you no less, you are dear to my heart”. When we make an honest confession of our human weaknesses, the priest who is Christ’s representative utters the same words of assurance. When we receive the Holy Communion, Jesus readily enters into our spiritual and physical dimension with the same message. During this Holy Week like John, let us take our place close to the heart of Jesus, sharing his inner turbulence with a commitment to follow him even if it entails the cross (by s. Jessy Paul SSpS).