Moved to Greater Love
Moved to Greater Love

Tuesday of Holy Week, April 15

Today’s Grace

I pray for the grace to feel sorrow and compassion, so that I may be united with the Lord Jesus in his Passion.

Scripture/Reading

Reading via the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops website:

Jn 13:21-33, 36-38
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?”
Jesus answered,
“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.”

Reflection Questions

  1. At the Last Supper, Jesus foretold of his betrayer. In fact, we have two disciples who will betray—Judas Iscariot and Simon Peter. The difference is that Judas, in realizing his sin of betrayal, took his own life in despair and darkness. Peter, on the other hand, experienced the Lord’s loving and forgiving gaze, which led to his conversion. He went out and wept bitterly. How have I experienced the loving, forgiving gaze of Christ that purifies and consoles me?
  2. When I am weak but place trust in God, I am in fact strong. There is a quiet reassurance and deep connection with the mystery of Christ’s suffering that gives meaning to my own suffering and brokenness. When have I experienced suffering and darkness that have led me back to the Lord in faith and trust? What do I need to turn over to the Lord so that I may echo the sentiment of St. Paul in that “it is not I who longer live, but Christ who lives in me”?

Reflection

Jesus’ Prayer for Peter and God’s Free Gift from “Journeying with the Lord: Reflections for Everyday” by Cardinal Carlos Maria Martini, SJ:

Like a cold shower, the words of Jesus strike Peter: “‘Simon, Simon! Satan, you must know, has got his wish to sift you all like wheat; but I have prayed for you Simon, that your faith may not fail, and once you have recovered, you in your turn must strengthen your brothers.’ ‘Lord,’ he answered, ‘I would be ready to go to prison with you, and to death.’ Jesus replied, ‘I tell you, Peter, by the time the cock crows today you will have denied three times that you know me’ ” (Lk 22:31-34).

How does Peter take these important words: “You must strengthen your brothers”?

Evidently, he assumes that he is capable of assuming the responsibility that the message contains: “Lord, I am ready to go with You to face prison and death.” Because we know what happens next, we think of how presumptuous Peter is in making such claims. But the words are so beautiful; words that every Christian should be able to affirmatively say. So, what is bad about them, which will help us to understand how Peter fell? Peter truly expresses what he feels, but it’s clear that he didn’t hear what Jesus was telling him: “Satan has got his wish to sift you all like wheat; but I have prayed for you, Simon.” If Peter had heard this, he would have said: “Lord, thank You for praying for me. I am so weak; I can do so little. Stay near to me.” Instead, Peter takes the task on as a privilege which he can handle by his own strength. He misses that the task can only be accomplished through the gift of the Lord. He thus sets himself up for his fall. In fact, the Gospel is precisely the free gift of God. It’s the salvation that God freely gives to the sinner. When we receive it with a grateful spirit, with humility and just recognition of its source, we are in our proper place. We can thus begin to appropriate it, digest it and control any situation. Peter thinks he is not afraid, yet his pride comes from his fear of the cross. He is sincere, but his fault lies in his desire to be first. In a theological sense, we could say that he wants to be the Lord’s savior.

The Immediate Experience of God from “Ignatius Speaks to a Jesuit Today” by Karl Rahner, SJ:

As you know, I wanted — as I used to say then — to “help souls”: in other words, to say something to people about God and God’s grace, and about Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen one, that would open up and redeem their freedom into God’s. I wanted to say this just as it had always been said in the Church, and yet I thought — and this opinion was true — that I could say what was old in a new way. Why? I was convinced that I had encountered God, at first incipiently during my sickness at Loyola and then decisively during my time as a hermit at Manresa; and I wanted to communicate such experience to others as best one could.

When I make this sort of claim to have experienced God immediately, this assertion does not need to be linked to a theological disquisition on the essence of this kind of immediate experience of God. Nor do I want to talk about all the phenomena that accompany such experiences — phenomena that of course have their own histories and their own distinctive God and human experience characteristics. I’m not talking about pictorial visions, symbols, words heard; I’m not talking about the gift of tears and the like.

I’m just saying that I experienced God, the nameless and un-searchable one, silent yet near, in the Trinity that is His turning to me. I have also experienced God — and indeed principally — beyond all pictorial imagining. God, who, when He comes to us out of His own self in grace, just cannot be mistaken for anything else. Such a conviction perhaps sounds innocuous in your pious trade, working as it does with the most elevated words available. But fundamentally it is outrageous: outrageous for me from where I am, in the past-all-graspness of God that is experienced here in a quite different way again; outrageous for the godlessness of your own time, a godlessness that is actually in the end only doing away with the idols — idols that the previous age, with an innocence that was at the same time appalling, equated with the ineffable God. Why shouldn’t I say that this godlessness extends right into the Church? After all, the Church throughout its history, in union with the crucified one, is meant to be what happens when the gods are abolished.

Other Resources

View the daily readings at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops website.





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