Faith Daily |13 April 2022
PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p 493
Almighty and everlasting God,
of your tender love towards us
you sent your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ,
to take upon him our flesh,
and to suffer death upon the cross,
that all should follow the example of his great humility:
that we may both follow the example of his patience,
and also be made partakers of his resurrection;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: John 13: 21-32
After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, “Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.” The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking. One of his disciples—the one whom Jesus loved—was reclining next to him; Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. So while reclining next to Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?” Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot. After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “Do quickly what you are going to do.” Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the common purse, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the festival”; or, that he should give something to the poor. So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.
When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Kay Murry
So here are Jesus and the disciples, at supper before the Passover. An ‘agape’ meal, it is believed – a meal shared among loving friends. As I imagine this scene it is a combination of warmth and comfort and togetherness - and yet, background trepidation. They are reclining around the food, as was the custom, and yet not really relaxed, because Jesus has been upending tradition by washing their feet, and saying disturbing things about what will happen soon. But, there they all are, with John (the beloved) on one side of Jesus, and Peter on the other.
Then, in verse 21, Jesus drops the real bombshell – and I see the disciples sitting up, looking at each other, wondering “Will I betray him? (how?) Or is it you? Or you? Unthinkable!” And then the mysterious little passage where only John and Peter (and we) find out who! I’ve always found it hard to imagine that no one else connected Jesus saying to Judas ‘Do quickly what you are going to do’ with Jesus’ earlier warning of betrayal, despite John saying no one else understood. He makes it clear in verses 28/9 that they had heard. In any case, Judas takes the piece of bread, (and John tells us Satan then enters him…) and then goes out. The best guess is that John having told us earlier in verse 2 that ‘the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray Jesus’ wants us to know that though Jesus knew Judas would betray him, he was not going to do anything to stop him.
But I do see why John adds there ‘And it was Night’.
Because suddenly changed is the companionable warmth of the glowing scene of lamplight, colours of their tunics, ripe, inviting food, all (except Judas, now) still around their loving and loved teacher: now there is chilling confusion and uncertainty.
And now it was Night John tells us ominously.
Darkness would now prevail – chaos, disharmony, and grief beyond words.
But then we have verses 31 and 32: Jesus says he has been (not ‘will be’) glorified, and God has been glorified in him, and so Jesus is glorified in himself.
So - will it be alright then, for Jesus (and all of us, his disciples), after all?
Looming closer on our own disturbing and questioning journey through Lent, are the darkness and chaos of Good Friday, as they were for Jesus and the disciples at that last supper. In those and the following verses, I can imagine Jesus wanting to hug each of his ‘little children’ to give them, his disciples (and us), courage to know that love will prevail.
As Julian of Norwich says, confident in her faith in Christ, ‘All will be well…all manner of thing will be well.’
Or as the modern coffee-mug saying goes,
‘It will be ok in the end. And if it’s not ok, it’s not the end!’
FINAL PRAYER Bruce D Prewer
God, our true life,
liberate us by your love
from the sludge of discouragement,
that we may hope all things
and endure all things,
for the joy that is now,
and is to come forever.