One of you shall deliver me

Jn 13,21-38

Having said this, Jesus was deeply disturbed and declared, ‘In all truth I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.’ The disciples looked at each other, wondering whom he meant.The disciple Jesus loved was reclining next to Jesus; Simon Peter signed to him and said, ‘Ask who it is he means,’ so leaning back close to Jesus’ chest he said, ‘Who is it, Lord?’ Jesus answered, ‘It is the one to whom I give the piece of bread that I dip in the dish.’ And when he had dipped the piece of bread he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot. At that instant, after Judas had taken the bread, Satan entered him. Jesus then said, ‘What you are going to do, do quickly.’ None of the others at table understood why he said this. Since Judas had charge of the common fund, some of them thought Jesus was telling him, ‘Buy what we need for the festival,’ or telling him to give something to the poor. As soon as Judas had taken the piece of bread he went out. It was night. When he had gone, Jesus said: Now has the Son of man been glorified, and in him God has been glorified. If God has been glorified in him, God will in turn glorify him in himself, and will glorify him very soon. Little children, I shall be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and, as I told the Jews, where I am going, you cannot come. Simon Peter said, ‘Lord, where are you going?’ Jesus replied, ‘Now you cannot follow me where I am going, but later you shall follow me.’ Peter said to him, ‘Why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.’ ‘Lay down your life for me?’ answered Jesus. ‘In all truth I tell you, before the cock crows you will have disowned me three times.’

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, one of you shall deliver me.” (Jn 13,21b)

How frightening this statement is! In it, we are shown the deepest darkness that can inhabit man. Betraying love, betraying the friend, betraying the Master and Lord…

Apparently, no one but the beloved disciple dared to ask him who it was that would betray him. Only he, who had a special relationship of trust with the Lord, and to whom Peter had given a sign to ask him. John’s heart was pure, and he loved the Lord undividedly. He was able to utter that question which puzzled everyone. He who loves and whose heart has been purified is able to face the shadows, having nothing to fear. So John leaned on Jesus’ chest and asked him, “Lord, who is it?” (cf. Jn 13,25) This gesture of love and trust was pure and sincere, very different from the kiss of the traitor, who abused this manifestation of love, putting it at the service of evil.

The betrayer’s malice was growing; and Satan entered into him (cf. Jn 12,27), making him his instrument. Judas can no longer, and will not, take a step back; the evil intention that had arisen from his greed and other causes now becomes an evil action.

Jesus knows that Judas will no longer be converted, that not even that common supper, nor the words he will address to him before being arrested, will be able to touch his heart anymore. Judas has become a servant of the Evil One. The betrayal will be consummated: “What you are about to do, do quickly” -Jesus tells him (Jn 13,27).

“Now the Son of Man has been glorified and God has been glorified in him” (Jn 13,31). Now the Son fulfills the Father’s will up to the Cross. Now the Lord will redeem his own, and draw all to him, that all may be saved. Now evil shows all its power, but remains powerless before the love of God. Now Satan thinks that he is triumphant, when in fact he is the one who is defeated. Now, in this “hour of darkness,” the light of God shines brightly in the surrender of the Son to the will of the Father, in the consummation of the work that God has entrusted to him to accomplish. And God is glorified in Him, because everything comes from the Father’s will, all the wisdom that is revealed to us in faith, in which God’s voluntary surrender becomes the infallible sign of His love for us men.

One will deliver him another will deny him three times… But the latter repents and is converted, and the Lord welcomes him even more deeply and sends him out. The other, on the other hand, does not repent, and it will be he who will carry out his own judgment.

Harpa Dei accompanies the daily scriptural interpretation or spiritual teaching of Br. Elija, their spiritual father. These meditations can be heard on the following website

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