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  • Sarah Beth Dippel



Reading today's Gospel, I am struck by this verse:

So Simon Peter nodded to him to find out whom he meant. He leaned back against Jesus' chest and said to him, "Master, who is it?" (Jn 13:24-25)


Yesterday, Mary "anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair." (Jn 12:3)


I don't have many people whose feet I touch or whose chest I lean against; in fact, I can count them on one hand. And yet, Mary and Peter have this level of intimacy with our Lord. What's more, is the disciple with his head on Jesus's chest will deny Him in just a few hours, and the Lord knows this.

Betrayal from a loved one is painful. St. John tells us, "Jesus was deeply troubled." We know the rest of the story, Judas taking the morsel of bread from Jesus, turns his back to the light of the world (Is 49:6), and walks out in the darkness to hand Him over to the chief priests. "So Judas took the morsel and left at once. And it was night." (John 13:30) Judas allows darkness to overcome him completely.

But Peter, Peter too, will deny our Lord.

Peter said to him, "Master, why can't I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you." Jesus answered, "Will you lay down your life for me? Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow before you deny me three times." (John 13:37-38) Perhaps Peter's head still rests on the chest of our Lord while He says this. What love, what intimacy, what mercy exists between them. The Lord knows the hearts of Judas and Peter. Judas allows Satan to enter his heart. Peter, in his heart, wants to lay down his life for the Lord, but when tested, he fails.

How often do we find ourselves like Peter? He asks us, Will you lay down your life for me? Are we hesitant? But there is no uncertainty on God's part; he has already laid down his life for us. Rest your head, your heart on the bosom of our Lord. He desires that intimacy with you. He died for that intimacy with you.

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