Divine Mercy Minutes with Jesus is a pocket-sized devotional featuring key passages of Jesus' own words to St. Faustina, following themes such as trust, deeds of mercy, and ... Read more
By Fr. Joseph, MIC (Apr 7, 2009)
Readings: Is 49:1-6; Jn 13:21-33, 36-38
Immediately after, Satan entered his heart. Jn 13:27
Once again we find ourselves reclining at table with Jesus, and once again John's Gospel provides us with contrasting characters, focusing this time on Judas and Peter at the Last Supper.
The passage begins with Jesus suddenly announcing to His disciples that one of them will betray Him (We know that means Judas, but the disciples don't); and it ends with His prophecy that Peter will deny Him three times. Wow! What a way to ruin a good meal. Two betrayals!
But wait a minute. Jesus didn't say, "Two of you will betray Me." He said, "One of you will betray Me." What's the difference?
To really understand, we need to recognize another character who shows up at this meal: Satan. When John asks who the traitor is, Jesus answers, "The one to whom I give the bit of food I dip in the dish." He then dips a morsel of food and gives it to Judas. "Immediately after," the Gospel tells us, "Satan entered his heart."
We saw in yesterday's Gospel that Judas has a heart problem. He's been stealing from the common purse and lusting after wealth. So his heart is divided. He hasn't paid attention to Christ's warning that "no one can serve two masters. ... You cannot serve God and mammon" (Mt 6:24).
When Judas, knowing that Jesus is aware of his treachery, accepts the morsel from Jesus, as if in friendship, his deceit is complete, and he enters into communion, not with Jesus but with "the father of lies" — Satan himself (see Jn 8:44).
Peter has no intention of abandoning Jesus. His denial comes as a surprise to him and is not the result of evil intent, but rather of human weakness. Like many of us, he's just trying to do too much on his own. As Christ said to St. Faustina, "The cause of your falls is that you rely too much upon yourself and too little on Me" (Diary of St. Faustina, 1488).
Lord, Jesus, help me to remember that Satan is real and that without You I will not be able to resist his lies. Strengthen me, Lord, so I will not enter into temptation, and deliver me from evil. Amen.