Acts 14: 21 - 27
Revelation 21: 1 - 5a
John 13: 31 - 33a, 34 - 35
Jesus' Last Discourse
The Gospel of this week introduces us to Jesus last will and testament. Knowing that his earthly journey was coming to an end, he has a farewell meeting with those closest to him and tells them his deepest and most intimate concerns.
First of all, he reveals the now of his human history: Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him. This is a rather strange affirmation, made just after he tells of Judas betrayal. The glorification of the Son of Man takes place in his betrayal, arrest and his death on the cross. His glorification is achieved through the most ignominious death! The expression "Son of Man" designates both the human being considered as mortal (Ps 8:5) and the vision of Dan 7:14 in which the Son of Man receives from God sovereignty over the whole earth. At the end of his life, the one who shares our human condition, the Word made flesh who has dwelt among us and whose glory we have seen, the glory given by the Father (John 1: 14), is going to know the death of his body. In the gift of the Son to the world, in his Incarnation and in the end of his earthly journey on the cross, we contemplate the heart of God, a God who is love. In the Sons love, lived to the degree of giving his life, God is glorified and will give the Son his own glory. Their love is reciprocal. This glory is not a reward or a crowning after a trial, but glory that is already mysteriously present in the sufferings endured. To the one who gives his life to the end, God will give his glory.
The love relationship between the Father and the Son, lived by Jesus during his life and in his encounter with death, and manifested in Jesus love for humanity, ought to become love of the disciples for one another. In the second part of the farewell discourse, Jesus reveals to the disciples how to follow and love him. This love is both faith and gift of self for others, confidence that we are unconditionally loved and will to give live even if it means death for self and learning not to turn away from our brothers and sisters in humanity (Is 58:7).
-- Sr. Sophie Ramond, R.A.