"The LORD called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name."
One of you will betray me.
One of you whom I called from your mother's womb, whose inmost being I knit together, whose heart I formed and molded.
You will betray me.
Lord, surely it is not I?
Both Peter and Judas reclined at table with Jesus, breaking bread with the One who called them into being. Both betrayed Him. Both could have been forgiven, had they the humility to ask.
But only Peter would return. Only Peter had the courage to face his corruption, to look up from the wreckage of his fallen humanity into the eyes of his Savior and to accept His offer to remake him in His image, redeeming him from the disaster of his denial.
But not yet.
First the Cross. First, the betrayal to end all betrayals. First, though it is Peter who vows that he will lay down his life for Jesus, it will be Jesus who lays down His life for us all.
The Creator of the universe, incarnate of the Virgin Mary, Who knows each of us intimately, and knows already the choices we'll make, the decisions we will make . . . or fail to make; it is He who will die for us.
As we progress further into Holy Week, let us remember that we tread on holy ground, and that He alone knows our future, and He alone can redeem it. And remember too, that He knows our names, He sees our inmost thoughts, our darkest parts, and He loves us just the same. Not even Judas would have been turned away, had he pled for mercy.
Is it I Lord, will I betray you?
Jesus, pray that I may have the strength to follow You to the cross, and to stand vigil with Your Mother and the disciple whom You loved. I want to be there.
Jenny Uebbing is a freelance writer and editor for Catholic News Agency. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband Dave and their small army of toddlers. You can find out more about her faith, thoughts on bioethics, and potty training failures here.