Tuesday of Holy Week

Icon of the Last Supper with the disciples sitting round a table

Daily Offering

An offering with Joseph of Arimathea (Matthew 27:57-60): Lord, I know I’ve been envied for my wealth, and I did wonder was I providing for myself too well, but I sense that these coming days will need me to be courageous and generous. May all I am and all I have be ready at your service. Amen.        Tom Shufflebotham SJ

Entering into prayer

Choose a way to enter into prayer from earlier in Lent or any method that you prefer.

Today's Scripture (John 13:21-33, 36-38)
After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, ‘Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.’ The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking. One of his disciples - the one whom Jesus loved - was reclining next to him; Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. So while reclining next to Jesus, he asked him, ‘Lord, who is it?’ Jesus answered, ‘It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.’ So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot. After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, ‘Do quickly what you are going to do.’ Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the common purse, Jesus was telling him, ‘Buy what we need for the festival’; or, that he should give something to the poor. So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.

When he had gone out, Jesus said, ‘Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, “Where I am going, you cannot come.”

Simon Peter said to him, ‘Lord, where are you going?’ Jesus answered, ‘Where I am going, you cannot follow me now; but you will follow afterwards.’ Peter said to him, ‘Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.’ Jesus answered, ‘Will you lay down your life for me? Very truly, I tell you, before the cock crows, you will have denied me three times.

Food for thought

In today’s gospel, we find ourselves at the Last Supper, the dramatic setting of some of Jesus’ most powerful teaching in John’s Gospel. It comes immediately after he has performed the extraordinary gesture of washing the feet of the disciples, and has explained his actions to them. Then, remarkably, we hear that “Jesus was disturbed in the Spirit”. What is the source of the disturbance? It is that “one of you is going to betray me”, an almost unimaginable outcome to such a meal?

Suggestions for prayer

Find yourself present in the room with them, and look around at the others, “puzzled as to who he was talking about”. Then watch the signal between Simon Peter and the “Beloved Disciple”, for the one who was “lying on Jesus’ bosom, to find out who he was talking about”. Listen to Jesus’ answer, and see if you are as baffled as they obviously were, even when Jesus gives “Judas son of Simon Iscariot a morsel”. Then there is the interchange with Judas: “what you are doing, do it quickly”, and the evangelist’s dark comment on Judas’ exit: “taking the morsel that one went out immediately. And it was night”.

But there is something else going on here: Jesus, apparently commenting on Judas’ departure, five times refers to it as “glory”, for the Son of Man and for God. As you pray, ask what is meant by that: how can it possibly be so?

And there is more, for Simon Peter is now sulking, “Lord – where are you going?” And when he is told “you can’t come with me, he stamps his foot and asks, petulantly, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I’m going to lay down my life for you!” Then listen to Jesus’ response: is it humorous or sad? “You’re going to lay down your life for me, are you? Amen, amen I’m telling you: the cock is not going to crow until you deny me three times”.

How are you going to respond today?

Now ask: which character in this story am I most like? Have I betrayed others or been betrayed? Do I deny others in my life? How can I better follow Christ today?

Image for the day

Icon of the Last Supper with the disciples sitting round a table

  • How do you feel about this picture?

  • Can you imagine being there with Jesus?

  • How do you think the disciples felt?

Examen/review of prayer

At the end of your prayer or your day, whatever works for you, you can look back and ask:

Does it have something to say to you?

How does it make you feel? Imagine how God might reply.

Conversation: When you come towards the end of your time of prayer, talk to God about what has come up for you.

End with a formal prayer, such as the Lord’s Prayer/Our Father.

Imaginative Conversations 

Celebrating the Passion of the Lord