Intentions of the Holy Father for April

Ecology and Justice. That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick. That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.

Judas, Peter, and John

I want to look back to last Tuesday's (Tues after Palm Sunday; Isa 49:1-6; Ps 71; Jn 13:21-38) Gospel reading from St. John's Gospel. Our Lord predicted that Peter would betray Him, and He was right. Our Lord made the same prediction about Judas, and was also right. Perhaps our Lord made these predictions so that, after they had accomplished their respective villanies, Peter and Judas would remember what our Lord had said. Judas began to understand with horror some of the gravity of what he had done and attempted, in a kind of childish way, to undo his folly. When the reality of the situation became apparently hopeless, Judas murdered himself (Mt 27:3-5). Peter, after his treachery, remembered the words of the Teacher (Mt 26:75) and the memory of our Lord's gentle prediction caused him to weep bitterly.

Of the apostles, only one was present, perhaps having followed at a distance, at the Crucifixion itself. The Beloved Disciple, St. John, stood with the Blessed Virgin Mary at the foot of the Cross (Jn 19:25-26). She was unweakened by sin and so could stand faithful. But how could he stand with her in that dark hour, when all others fled? The answer is buried, I think, in a much earlier chapter that recounts the events of the evening before. During the Last Supper, it was St. John, the Beloved Disciple, who "was lying close to the breast of Jesus," (Jn 13:23) resting upon him, listening quietly to the beating of His Strong and Sacred Heart.

Let us bury ourselves in Jesus in prayer, resting our heads upon His breast, and our hearts close to His. Let us listen quietly for Jesus, and be strengthened by Him, so that we can stand with the Blessed Virgin at the foot of the Cross, though every other friend betray us and all Hell array against us.

St. John, the Beloved Disciple, pray for us.

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