APRIL 02, 2015
1st Reading: Ex 12:1–8, 11–14
2nd Reading: 1 Cor 11:23–26
Gospel: Jn 13:1–15
It was before the feast of the Passover. Jesus realized that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father, and as he had loved those who were his own in the world, he would love them with perfect love.
They were at supper and the devil had already put into the mind of Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray. Jesus knew that the Father had entrusted all things to him, and as he had come from God, he was going to God. So he got up from table, removed his garment and taking a towel, wrapped it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel he was wearing.
When he came to Simon Peter, Simon said to him, “Why, Lord, you want to wash my feet!” Jesus said, “What I am doing you cannot understand now, but afterwards you will understand it.” Peter replied, “You shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you can have no part with me.” Then Simon Peter said, “Lord, wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head!”
Jesus replied, “Whoever has taken a bath does not need to wash (except the feet), for he is clean all over. You are clean, though not all of you.” Jesus knew who was to betray him; because of this he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
When Jesus had finished washing their feet, he put on his garment again, went back to the table and said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Master and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I, then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you also must wash one another’s feet. I have just given you an example that as I have done, you also may do.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
Two theories on the culpability of Judas clash. One theory exculpates him on the ground that he was just playing a predetermined role in the drama of salvation. This is too fatalistic and deterministic. It makes God a manipulator of human destiny. Another theory holds Judas responsible for his betrayal. This theory holds him liable as a traitor because up to the last minute Jesus appealed to his loyalty yet he chose to hand him over just the same. He made the choice in the exercise of his freedom.
To say that Judas was only role-playing is to accuse God of stage-managing human freedom. This is a dangerous theory because it will make all of us guinea pigs in a creation-wide experiment of the divine. We could then accuse God of orchestrating evil in the world with a script detailing how the good and the bad should conduct their affairs. The heretical conclusion would be that human beings cannot be held accountable for any evil act because after all we are just actors following God’s script. This will render the Lenten commemoration useless for there would be no reason at all to repent. – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: email@example.com. Website: http://www.frdan.org.
Prayer for the day: God our Father, grant us the gift of repentance and the grace never again to abuse our freedom. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
SAINT OF THE DAY: Today is the Anniversary of the Martyrdom of Saint Pedro Calungsod, a young native of the Visayas region in the Philippines. He was one of the boy catechists who went with some Spanish Jesuit missionaries from the Philippines to the Ladrones Islands in the Western Pacific in 1668 to evangelize the Chamorros. A Chinese quack named Choco started to spread the talk that the baptismal water of the missionaries was poisonous. Since some sickly infants who were baptized died, many believed the calumniator and eventually apostatized. On April 2, 1672, Pedro, together with Fr. Diego Luis de San Vitores was killed by Matapang, the father of the baby they baptized against his will.