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Holy Tuesday Reflection | Fr. Jason Laguerta

We heard yesterday about the story of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, and Mary pouring out a little costly oil on the feet of Jesus. We continue the story of the last days of Jesus.

They are now in the vicinity of Jerusalem, and they were having the supper, and Jesus prophesied about the Betrayal or two of his disciples: of Judas; of Peter. It must have been heartbreaking for the Lord, to know that your closest friends, people whom you have trusted, people whom you observed in toward, whom you have stayed with for around three years, in your final days. At the last hour, they plop against you. They will betray you.

Peter and John rush to the tomb on Easter morning | painting by Burnand

Holy Tuesday is calling us: Let us not grow tired of being faithful to Jesus. If there is one good deed that we can perform today and every day of our life, it is to be faithful to Jesus, never to betray him, never to be disloyal to him. It is easier said than done. Of course we know how hard it is to be loyal to our Master. We know how hard it is to be faithful to our promises. Husbands and wives, you know this very well. It is so hard to be loyal and faithful to one another. Children, employees, public officials, every one of us. Lahat po tayo. We have problems with fidelity, with loyalty. And that is why we often grow tired of being faithful. Holy Tuesday, Jesus told his disciples, “Whoever takes the morsel of the bread that I have dipped in the childless, he will betray me.” Peter, Peter, as usual, the impulsive Peter would tell the Lord, “Surely, we will not surely, I will be faithful to you. Surely. I will not do that to you. I am your most loyal disciple.” I don't know if he was convincing himself or Jesus but he was assuring Jesus, “Lord, I will be with you through and through.” But the Lord prophesied, “Peter, before the cock crows, you will have denied me three times.”

Brothers and sisters, a lot of times in our lives, we have experienced being betrayed. Betrayal of enemies, that's natural. They are hostile to you. They are against you. So it's understandable in one way or another. If your enemies say things against you, if they stab you, literally sometimes, if they wish ill of you. But natural sa isang hindi mo kasama ang mag-isip ng masama sa iyo o magsalita ng bagay sa iyo. It is, I think, understandable - humanly speaking. But friends, it's quite hard to accept it because friends are supposed to be people whom you can trust and rely upon. Friends are not strangers to you. Friends are supposed to be the people whom you can rely on, not just in times that are good, but specially in bad times. And yet, here we are. Jesus telling Peter, Judas, “Do what you have to do. You will be denying me three times.”

In our life, we often experience betrayal from our friends. And it hurts, definitely, and a lot of times it makes us so weak that we want to just give up. We begin to entertain doubts. We begin to have trust issues. It becomes hard for us to establish meaningful relationships. Betrayals always leave some wound in our hearts, in our lives. They make us doubt ourselves. They make us doubt our capabilities. They make us doubt the intentions of people. When people betray us, we are not just heard when they betray us. What happens more often than not is it leaves a deep wound that we cannot recover easily. The wounds of betrayal are more difficult to deal with and to handle because they are open wounds that stay with us.

But we look at Jesus. Did he harbor grudges, ill feelings towards Judas and Peter, who would betray him and deny him? Let us look to Jesus and find in him an example of loyalty till the end, of loving till the end, such love, such compassion, such kindness. It is so rare nowadays because we would rather retaliate, we would rather take revenge. In fact, many of us are the original members of The Avengers. We want to avenge ourselves. Gusto nating gumanti, gusto nating ipalasap din sa gumawa sa atin nito yung sakit at hapdi na pinadanas nila sa iyo. We would like to get even. Oh, yes! We would like to get even with those people who have wronged us or crossed us. But in Jesus, we find fidelity till the end.

Let us not grow tired of being faithful to Jesus and to one another. Let us find the strength to be faithful in the Lord. And what could be our motivation for doing that? Even if we are unfaithful, the Lord will remain faithful to us. Never give up. Let us not grow tired of fidelity. If we are faithful till the end, we will also reap the reward of this fidelity. God remains loyal to us. Even if we have - all of us - forsaken him, he remains faithful to us.

Transcribed by Kovie Kraft

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