Tuesday of Holy Week
(Isaiah 49:1-6; John 13:21-33.36-38)
The mental anguish of Jesus does not receive sufficient attention in the popular mind. Granted that his physical pain was intense and prolonged, it might have been more easily borne with full support of his disciples. However, his suffering was multiplied by the abandonment of two trusted disciples as well as the mocking of his captors. Today’s gospel indicates that Jesus even foreknew his disciple’s sins which likely increased his misery.
It is important not to equate Judas’ and Peter’s infidelities. Judas’ betrayal was eminently worse than Peter’s denial. Judas made a pact with the devil by handing his teacher over to Jesus’ enemies with deliberation. Peter’s offense was committed out of fear for his own welfare. His fright does not excuse him from sin, but it does diminish his guilt.
We hope never to intensify Jesus’ pain with our own transgressions. But because we still are not completely faithful, we want to participate in the liturgies of Holy Week with all devotion. They will cleanse us of our sins and enable us to not offend again.