May 15, 2022
John 13: 31-33a, 34-35
Let us love one another, because God first loved us, even while we were still God’s enemies. (Fr. Alberione)
- Have I ever been heartbroken in a situation until I vowed never to repeat or engage myself in such a related experience?
- Do I still hold on this nasty experience to an extension of glimpsing the goodness of God in my life?
God is about to do a new thing. And this new work will be so glorious, it’s going to cause his people to praise him like never before. In our first reading from Acts of the Apostles, the priests who are being commended to God’s grace have one goal of making things new and that is bringing everybody on board. The Christians in the early church were not only concerned with winning the lost to Christ, but also with strengthening their own faith so that they can grow and live as true disciples of Christ. A new relationship with God is built when Gentiles are included in God’s ministry and we see people praising God for that. Remember Paul and Barnabas had been rejected in those certain cities but they went back and were accepted. There is joy when God makes things anew for them; His message is accepted. From what they did at each city, we learn that new disciples need to be strengthened in at least four ways: by confirmation, by exhortation, by organization and by commendation.
In our gospel pericope, Jesus continues to invite us to embrace a new life; a life of accommodation by loving one another and a life of new glorification. Jesus focuses on glorification, his own and God’s. The word “glory” is used in the Bible to speak of various wonderful things—but it is used specially to speak of God’s glory – an aura associated with God’s appearance that reveals God’s majesty to humans. In this Gospel, Jesus’ glorification is his death, resurrection, and ascension. Just as God’s glory was revealed at Sinai (Exodus 24:16-17), so also it will be revealed at the cross and open tomb. Even in the glow of Eastertide we in the Church do well to remember what the true nature of glory is for us. We in the Church are not “glorified” when we amass political clout, business influence, or power and glitz as the world reckons those things. The nature of our glory lies elsewhere in sacrificial love, in service, and, yes, even in laying down our lives for the sake of the kingdom if it comes to that.
He is making things new. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, just as I have loved you; that you also love one another.” What, then, is new about Jesus’ commandment?
First, Jesus provides a clear model of the love that he requires: “Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another.” Second, it focuses on the Christian community—we are to love Christian brothers and sisters. Third, this new commandment inaugurates a new covenant. The mark of faithfulness to the new covenant is love for those within the community of faith
In conclusion, God will make us a new in four different ways:
1. Spiritually and Morally New. The Psalmist says that God is Gracious and full of Compassion. He is going to make us spiritually and morally new and glorious. There is some progress as the Spirit help us in our weakness.
2. Physically and Bodily New. “He will wipe every tear from our eyes, pain and death shall be no more.
3.The New Creation. So, when God makes all things new, He makes us new spiritually and morally, new physically and then he makes the whole creation new so that our environment fits our perfected spirits and bodies.
4. A new relationship with God. He will dwell with us; He shall be our God and He will be with us. Forever and ever, we will live with pure hearts and glorious bodies on a new earth in the presence and the glory of our Heavenly Father.
“Behold, I am making all things new.” (Rev. 21:5) Our Lord comforts us in our fear, brings hope to the hopeless, brings new life and purpose out of nothingness, and longs to transform one’s heart if at all one gives God the permission to. Be brave, and see how God can make all things new in your life!
John 13: 31-33, 34-35
When Judas had left them, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and God will glorify him at once. My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. 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.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Meet Sister Elizabeth Sichangi, SNDdeN