Thursday, 25 April 2013

A new commandment

GospelJohn 13:31-33,34-35 

When Judas had gone Jesus said:
‘Now has the Son of Man been glorified,
and in him God has been glorified.
If God has been glorified in him,
God will in turn glorify him in himself,
and will glorify him very soon.
‘My little children,
I shall not be with you much longer.
You will look for me,
And, as I told the Jews,
where I am going, you cannot come.
I give you a new commandment:
love one another;
just as I have loved you,
you also must love one another.
By this love you have for one another,
everyone will know that you are my disciples.’

Now, in hindsight, Jesus' farewell at the Last Supper is seen as prophecy; as a warning; as a promise. How had they not known?

Jesus had certainly known; with his acceptance of Judas' betrayal he has set the last wheels in motion towards the fulfillment of God's Will. 

Over the weekend I have been in several conversations about whether Jesus was bound to die. There are many changes in circumstances that fill the could have/should have of how it could have been avoided. 

In the end it comes down to the same choice of 'Yes' or 'No' that Mary had, that Joseph had, that Judas had and that, now, Jesus has. Just outside the city walls is the road that leads back to the Galillee; dozens of villages and towns where he could play the prophet, the carpenter or the fisherman. There is nothing to stop Jesus from running and yet he doesn't run. Jesus is challenged not only by the great temptations of the desert and the garden but by these simple choices of stay or go. 

For Jesus, the deciding factor is his Father's Will. Knowing that he is walking the path, as horrible as it may be, that will bring his children and his Father back together, he rejoices in what it will accomplish. Jesus is the Light at the end of the tunnel and he glories in the knowledge that he will be there when the darkness breaks. 

Yet such choices bring regrets and separation. With a word, Jesus steps up into a different relationship with his disciples; his children; his beloved. The separation will be hard but it will not be forever. To remember Jesus; to re-member Jesus; they must take the heart of who Jesus is and live it in their own lives so that their life - becomes Jesus' life - becomes the Father's Will. 

All the denials, sufferings and separations will only be justified if, at the end, there is Love. There are no words to justify or explain what Jesus does for us except Love. There is no way that we can be part of the realisation of Jesus' mission except to Love.

To Love

To throw a quote back at you, Lord
You do not know what you ask…

To love one another 
as you love
and to make it sound so simple 
one law; 
one commandment.
But Love, Lord?
I don’t even know how you love me.

And yet you say the Word
And I am healed.
So the least I can do
Is try.



Siggi in Downeast Maine said...

Thought provoking and wonderful post.
Thank you...
I still need to digest some of this, but need to be sure to leave a note Ive read it.

Lynda said...

There is certainly a great deal in this post. The thought that resonates with me is that we always need to remember Jesus' humanity and how difficult the decisions must have been at times. Love is the only response. Thank you.