Sunday, May 19, 2019
Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year C
When Judas had left them, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.” John 13:31
It is essential to know the end of the story. Jesus knew the end when He spoke these words to the Apostles at the Last Supper right after Judas left to go and betray Him. It’s important to put this situation within the context that Jesus understood it. From a purely human point of view, one of Jesus’ closest friends was about to betray Him for money. For most of us this would have been devastating and the cause for anger and hurt. But because Jesus knew the end of the story, He was able to see Judas’ betrayal as the means to His glorification, not His defeat. He turned His eyes toward Heaven and all that He would accomplish through His suffering rather than look at the immediate pain He would soon endure.
This is a powerful lesson for us all. First, it’s essential that we look at Jesus’ glorification through His betrayal, suffering and death. But we must also strive to see the potential that our own sufferings have when united to the Savior of the World.
How do you react when another sins against you? How would you have reacted to Judas betraying your love? This is a very difficult question to face in honesty and it is even harder to live the response that Jesus lived. The truth is that every time we are mistreated by another, we are given an opportunity to glorify God and further the Kingdom of Heaven by forgiving, uniting our suffering with Christ’s, and offering mercy. This is much easier to speak about than to live.
Reflect, today, upon this scene of the Gospel. Gaze upon Judas leaving the Last Supper and going out into the night to betray our Lord. But look at it in the way Jesus saw it. Look at it with the understanding that this was the means chosen by the Father to bring salvation to the world. Reflect, also, upon every opportunity that you are given to do as Jesus did. Try to be concrete and specific and see any and every suffering you endure as a glorious opportunity to dispense the mercy of God. Though this may be difficult at first, it is this act of love that will give great glory to the Father in Heaven!
My dear Lord, You were betrayed by the kiss of one of Your closest friends. But in Your perfect wisdom, You saw this betrayal as the perfect opportunity to glorify the Father through Your mercy and forgiveness. Lord, I also have betrayed You countless times. For that reason I am sorry. But I thank You for loving me and forgiving me with Your Heart of perfect mercy. Help me to receive that mercy and to offer it to others who have sinned against me. Jesus, I trust in You.