Tuesday of Holy Week
The Gospel passage of the day presents to us two personalities – Judas Iscariot and Simon Peter.
Jesus clearly points out in advance what would happen to these two apostles in the near future. While one would betray, the other would deny Him. Jesus did not keep this knowledge a secret, rather made it known to these two as well as the rest of the apostles. But both of these apostles failed to pay heed to Jesus and take His warning seriously.
While both of them sinned, we may be of the opinion that what Judas did was premeditated and hence of greater gravity than what Peter did which was propelled by the circumstance. But if we take a closer look, we would notice that Peter’s sin was of a graver nature than that of Judas. Judas only identified Jesus with a kiss for the soldiers to arrest. But Peter denied that He knew Jesus at all – despite living with Jesus and witnessing all His mighty deeds, even after having confessed that Jesus was the Messiah (Mt 16:16). Furthermore, He cursed Jesus (Mt 26:74) in order to secure his safety. This was the same Peter who vouched to stand by Jesus even if it meant death (Jn 13:37). Hence it is very clear that Peter committed a greater offense than Judas. But the highlight of the story lies in what each of them did after they sinned.
Judas realized that what he did was wrong. But instead of correcting his mistake by repenting and returning to the Lord, he chose to end his life in despair. Peter on the other hand, repented for his mistake with bitter tears (Mt 26:75). While both of them sinned, only Peter had the right understanding of Jesus and was sure of being forgiven, however grave his sin may be. His repentance and faith saved not only his life but also his soul.
All of us, in the course of our life, commit various sins, some graver than the other. I am certain that you realize that gravity of your sins. But at those moments, what you choose to do matters a lot. Do you, like Judas, choose to move away from the Lord in despair or like Peter, do you repent and return to the Lord?