At some point in our lives, we may have experienced betrayal of trust by someone we loved dearly. Do you remember that time? There is a saying, ‘We can forgive, but we can’t forget.’ Even after forgiving the person, the relationship is never the same. How do we bring ourselves to trust that person again? It is a difficult question that does not have a satisfying answer, but how we respond to our disappointment in people is more important than what they did to us.
On the night of the Last Supper, Our Lord faced betrayal by many in his trusted inner circle of twelve disciples, the very ones that he called ‘friends.’ It wasn’t only Judas who was going to betray his trust. Peter, the Rock, was going to deny him three times, and most of the disciples were going to abandon him once Jesus was arrested. When Jesus said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me,” he raised the possibility that anyone of them could be the one.
Jesus was fully aware of Peter’s betrayal. Yet Jesus’ love for Peter was not diminished. Love compels Jesus to tell Peter, “Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers.”
Betrayal of trust is especially painful when we are hurt by someone we love, respect, and trust. We may become defensive and bitter in an effort to never be hurt again. However, with God's help, betrayal is something we can recover from and not let hinder us, no matter how we feel. As disciples, let us remember that how we respond to hurts caused by others is more important than what they did to us. If we are betrayed or wounded by someone we trusted, refuse to get bitter. Instead, follow the example of Jesus and forgive them. We can't choose what other people do, but we can choose to have a right response. Somethings in life can’t be fixed; we must carry them with love.
-Fr. Paul Yi