May 1, 2010


5th Sunday of Easter
John 13: 31-33a, 34-35

The Cross - the Moment of God's Love and God's Glory

From the very beginning of Jesus' public ministry, the Gospel according to John emphasizes "the hour of Jesus." At the wedding of Cana, Jesus tells his Mother, "My hour has not yet come."

Later on, John reemphasizes the purpose and God's plan in Jesus' earthly life when he reports that those who oppose Jesus "tried to arrest him, but no one laid a hand upon him, because his hour had not yet come." (7:30)

This sense of purpose in Jesus' awareness of his mission is used again to begin the last portion of John's gospel, "Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father." (13:1)And thus, the last supper begins.

And during this meal, Jesus first washes the disciples' feet. In this way, he teaches them to follow his example of service to one another (13: 5-15). Then, he predicts that one of them would betray him.

Afterwards, in the passage chosen for this Sunday, Jesus tells the disciples the purpose of his mission. The hour has now come for Jesus to glorify the Father. It is the hour of the cross.

And here lays the core of Christianity. "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son" (John 3:16). "The cross is not just a place of suffering. It is the place where we can see how much God loves us." [1]

The hour of the cross is not the hour of defeat. It is the hour where God's plan of salvation is accomplished. The hour of the cross is the hour of God's glory through the revelation of God's marvelous love for us.

Jesus has come for this hour. He accomplishes the purpose of his life by his cross. The cross of Jesus shows us the depth of God's love. He died for our sins so we sinners may live again as children of God. And there, in that absurdity of God's love, God's is glorified.

And this mystery of God's love continues in our lives. "I give you a new commandment: love one another.
As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Often times, the hour of the cross in our lives is the hour of greatest love, and thus, the hour of God's glory -- the hour that God is made known through our love for one another.

[1] Francis J. Moloney, SDB. The Gospel of the Lord: Reflections on the Gospel Readings, Year C. Homebush, Australia: St. Paul Publications, 1991; p. 104.

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