During Holy Week, let us set aside our agendas and follow Jesus.

“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 afterward.’”
John 13:36

Peter wanted to be a hero. He followed Jesus over a period of years, and he witnessed the excitement that greeted Jesus when he arrived in Jerusalem. Peter and the rest of the disciples saw that things were coming to a conclusion. They dreamed of the day when Jesus would claim his throne, defeat those they saw as his enemies, and they would emerge victorious at his side. They had an agenda all set for Jesus to follow.

In the reading from the Gospel of John there is a consistent theme of the disciples misunderstanding what is going on. They are uncertain of whom Jesus was speaking about when he said that one of them would betray him. Even after Jesus gives the beloved disciple a hint as to who it would be by sharing a piece of bread with Judas and sending him on his way, they still do not understand. The disciples believe that Jesus was sending him on an errand to buy supplies for the feast, or perhaps to bring money to the poor (John 13:29).

Peter asks Jesus where he was going, and Jesus tells him that it is to a place that Peter cannot yet follow. This touches Peter’s pride—after all, he had insisted that he would lay down his life for Jesus. Jesus responds with the prediction attested to in all the Gospels: that before the dawn, Peter would betray him. Peter displays a kind of arrogance that we all share: somehow, we think that we can dictate to Jesus what his agenda should be. Peter said he was willing to give up his life. Just as Jesus had asked Peter to lay his life down for him, Jesus asks us to do the same. Jesus asks us to to give away our lives by loving one another without limits.

Pope Francis
“Living Holy Week means entering ever more deeply into the logic of God, into the logic of the Cross, which is not primarily that of suffering and death, but rather that of love and of the gift of self which brings life.”
General Audience, March 27, 2013

Rescue us, O Lord, from the depth of our misunderstanding so we can live the life of love you are calling us to.