Vocation Meditation -
Fifth Sunday of Easter, 2010
Before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
During the supper, when Judas had gone out, Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once."
"Little children, I am with you only a little longer. I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
Jesus expressed, in no vague terms, His mission and unconditional love for his disciples and those he called to be His own. It was the hour of darkness now that Judas had gone out and had decided to betray him. The final words of Jesus to his disciples speak of threefold glory.
- The glory of Jesus came by way of sacrifice. The cross he accepted, speaks of love paid by extreme suffering done with love.
- In Jesus, God has been glorified. Jesus gave Him the supreme honour and supreme glory by His obedience. This obedience is the ultimate sign of his love for the Father and for the world.
- In turn, God glorified Jesus. First, there was the cross, then, there was more to follow: the resurrection, the ascension, the full and final triumph of Christ in the second coming. On the cross, Jesus found His own glory, the glory that is attached to His perfect love for the Father and His will for all of us. In the final days, that glory will be demonstrated to the whole creation. From the humiliation of His passion and death, Christ will be enthroned by the Father on His right hand, crowned with glory, as the Son in whom the Father was well pleased.
Jesus' final words also revealed how He loved His disciples and those He called His own.
- Jesus loved them selflessly. There was no element of self in His offering. His only desire was to give Himself for those He loved.
- Jesus loved them through sacrifice. Love entails passing through pain and this always demands a cross to bear in view of love. He never spared anything to prove His love. He loved to the very end.
- Jesus loved them with complete understanding. He had lived with his disciples and knew of their mistakes, their struggles, their capacities and also their possibilities. His love saw their reality and He still called them to Himself and sent them for a mission, a task bigger than themselves.
- Jesus loved them with a constant offer of forgiveness. Peter, their leader, denied Him. They all deserted Him in time of trial. God's love is bigger than our mistakes. For love to be enduring, it must be built on forgiveness, for without it, it is bound to die.
- Jesus loved them much and commissioned them to love others. His kind of love for them will be the measure of their loving one another, a love without borders.
"Just as I have loved you, you also should love another."
What boundaries have I torn down to manifest my love for others?
Your love is humble and yet so powerful and enduring. In Jesus, I found the real measure of loving through caring, forgiving, trusting and giving till it hurts. Accept my daily efforts to catch up with Him. May my vocation, my call to love unreservedly, glorify your Name, the Name that spells 'loving' without counting the cost. Amen.
For the full Gospel reading for this Sunday, visit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops site.