Soul Food for Hungry Adult Communities, Fifth Sunday of Easter, April 28th 2013: Year C, the Year of Luke.
For Mass Readings for this Sunday, click here. (Some Lectionaries have the first reading as Acts of the Apostles 14:21-27, and others have it as Acts 11:1-18, from ‘the revised Common Lectionary). The Psalm is Psalm 148. The Second Reading is Revelations 21:1-6, and the Gospel is John 13:31-35.
Some parts of this Sunday’s Readings, put before us:
‘Paul and Barnabas put fresh heart into the disciples, encouraging them to persevere in the faith.’ (Acts 14) (Note: Barnabas’ real name was Joseph, but the Apostles nick-named him Barnabas, meaning ‘Son of Encouragement’ !)
‘They assembled the church and gave an account of all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith to the pagans.’ (Acts 14)
‘The Lord is kind, full of compassion…abounding in love… compassionate to all his creatures. (Psalm 144)
‘Your friends… shall speak of the glory of your reign…the glorious splendour of your reign.’ (Psalm 144)
‘Here God lives among people. He will make his home among them; they shall be his people, and he will be their God; his name is ‘God-with-them.’” (Revelations 21)
‘The Son of Man has been glorified…God has been glorified in him. God will glorify him, very soon.’ (John 13:31,32)
‘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.’ (John 13:35).
EYE-OPENERS or AHA! MOMENTS. Glory be!
St. John’s Gospel has been described as being in two halves. From the beginning up to Chapter 12, it is the Gospel of Signs. From Chapter 13 to 21, (from the Last Supper to the Resurrection) it is the Gospel of Glory,- when the real glory of who Jesus is, is shown to us, best of all on the Cross.
To grasp the ‘glory’ of Jesus is to come to an ‘Aha!’ moment about him, when the penny drops, so to speak, and we come to realise who Jesus of Nazareth is,- God among us, a human being like ourselves, God-with-us, the One who was SENT to us by the FATHER- his Father and our Father! We are left breathless, and can only say ‘Wow!’,- or maybe, like our friend of a couple of weeks back, ‘Doubting Thomas’, the moment might come when I cry out from the heart ‘My Lord, and My God!’
Or we remember when Jesus took his three closest friends, Peter, James, John, and went up a high mountain,- probably Mount Thabor, in Galilee. There, while praying, he was ‘transfigured’ before them. His whole appearance changed, and they glimpsed for a brief few moment the ‘glory’ of their friend, Jesus. And then, it was quickly back to ordinary again. But that glimpse changed them forever.
At the start of St. John’s Gospel, in what is called The Prologue, we find these words: ‘The Word was made Flesh, and dwelt among us. We saw his glory, the glory that he has from the Father, as the only Son of the Father.’
‘To grasp the truth about Jesus is to ‘see his glory’ as the only Son of God, the Word made flesh.’
Jesus tells us in today’s passage, from Chapter 13, just after the washing of the feet and the departure of Judas into the night, that through Jesus himself we will come to see the glory of the Father. And then he adds that, through what the Father will shortly do for Jesus, in raising him from death, we will come to see the glory of Jesus, as the Anointed One or Chosen One (-‘the Christ’), who is one with the Father. (‘I and the Father are one’)
‘When I am raised up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself.’ (John 12)
‘The Word was made Flesh, and dwelt among us. We saw his glory, the glory that he has from the Father, as the only Son of the Father.’ (John 1:14)
Seamus Devitt C.Ss.R., Redemptorists, Esker, Co. Galway.