Tuesday of Holy Week
“After Judas took the morsel, Satan entered him…. When he had left, Jesus said: ‘Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in him.”
The lavish love of the Trinity pours forth into the universe only through one opening: the human heart of Christ, the Sacred Heart! There is no other portal through which this extravagant energy pours into the universe. An angelic and super-intelligent being – which Satan is – could not accept such a strange way of sharing!
Judas too was caught in that pride: he lacked the bravery, born of humility, which is needed to follow Christ down that narrow, winding road of the human heart where it can look and feel like God is not going to follow me in what I am feeling, what I am suffering.
Such discipleship takes bravery. That is why Jesus, a little further on, commends it to us: “I have told you all this so that you may find peace in me. In the world, you will have trouble, but be brave: I have conquered the world.” What’s being said here is that if God does not shine into and through the human, if we do not allow Him that expanse, then the human predicament can only become a great stumbling block – a scandal. So, it was for Judas. That is what it is for us when we concentrate upon the foibles, the faults, the failings, the real sins in and around us. We say, “Something is wrong!” Without denying such evils, we forget Jesus’ words, “I have conquered the world!”
The passion of our hearts is not a neat, well-bounded reality. That is why, revelation shows us that standing over against Judas is Peter – the impetuous one. This is not to praise impetuosity. It is to praise the acceptance of one’s humanity, the condition of receiving grace! It is to alert ourselves to the subtle danger of wanting to be an angel, to the danger of being too readily scandalized that we are only human!
We have not been baptized into an angelic body. We are members of one who ‘wore’ our humanity and then, in it, was glorified. Our gaze must perseveringly piece through the false expectations which we have allowed to define our lives. We want to gaze into the Heart of Jesus, who, in calm majesty, is proceeding up to Jerusalem. We desire to follow. But it is helpful for us to recall something Jesus told his disciples: “Father, I desire that they also, whom thou hast given me, may be with me where I am, to behold my glory which thou hast given me in thy love for me before the foundation of the world.” (Jn 17:24)
Let us be patient with being ‘only human.’ It is the path to glory!
Reflection by Fr. Xavier Nacke, OSB