Good morning, happy Holy Tuesday and blessings.
The Gospel for today (Saint John (13,21-33.36-38) tells us about the experience of the Last Supper where Jesus lives three incredible encounters: First, two of his disciples, Peter and Judas, who are sitting at the table with him will betray him.
Betrayal is that lack that breaks the loyalty or fidelity that should be kept towards someone or something. In my opinion there is nothing more painful for the soul than treason. And more painful when it comes from the people we love and trust. Sometimes we are disappointed, and even we disappoint someone with our behavior.
I wonder; how was Jesus feeling at that moment? Judas, locked in his own plan, that does not let him see further and pushes him like an automaton to carry it out. And Peter, the good Peter, so focused on himself and on his own strength and fervor that he does not listen to what Jesus is living. He is only concerned with making it clear that he will live up to it. This was definitely a very bitter experience for Jesus with these two disciples who somehow betrayed the project of salvific salvation.
But on the other hand, there is John, the so-called beloved disciple leaning on Jesus, calm in his privileged and kind position, oblivious to the gravity of what was coming. Jesus definitely knew very well what was coming and that he would be arrested, tortured and killed. The question is, how he was feeling at the time? I get the impression that John somehow noticed how Jesus was feeling and that was the moment when he began to act completely different from Judas and Peter. He walked over and hugged him. In other words, John acted in a loving way and sought to comfort Jesus. While we are in a dark hole of betrayal, depression or anxiety, we see no light. The last thing you want to do is tell another person in pain that there is no need to feel that way.
John knew that the first step in helping someone is to eliminate judgment and criticism. You must find a way that the other person knows that they are loved. And this is what John did with Jesus. He reaffirmed it with his love resting on his chest.
Unfortunately, with this whole Coronavirus issue physical approaches are prohibited. The pandemic works like a thief who snatches from us the connections that feed passion, satisfaction, belonging and all other variations of love. But that does not mean that I cannot find other ways to reaffirm or comfort someone in need or that I show my love as John did with Jesus. Spaniard singer-songwriter Alejandro Sanz tells us: When there is true love there is no distance. So, let's just look for ways to demonstrate it and creative ways to get closer.
And remember, hugs and kisses will return. Let's not lose faith. We commit ourselves to physical distance and social solidarity.
Fr. Luis +