5th Sunday of Easter C – Glorified

When Judas had left the last supper Jesus turned to his disciples and said, “Love one another”. In our utilitarian and often impersonal world the line between using people and loving them can easily be blurred.  Judas used Jesus and his whole movement as a means of enhancing himself. Jesus’ attitude to people was not like that. His was about loving them with a realistic and sustainable love. He chose his followers, accepting them for who they were with their weaknesses as well as their strengths. He was predictable, constant and reliable in his love for them. When we love a person realistically there is a good chance their shortcomings, their bad days, their occasional unpleasantness and disagreeableness will not be deal breakers. That kind of love shows we are fully alive.

“Love one another as I have loved you”. We can easily read that instruction like a cliché – simplistically and in a one-sided over-confident manner. It was Jesus’ biggest and most challenging command because it is linked to the crucifixion which revealed to those with eyes to see a glimpse of God’s glory. It is easy to consider ourselves as loving, warm and respectful towards those who are warm and generous towards us. We can easily assume both that we are loving persons and that we are measuring up to Jesus’ command to love as he did. The acid test, however, is seen in how we deal with those who don’t like us.

The instruction Jesus gave his followers was to love one another according to his own special standard of loving. He wanted their love to be real, consistent and persevering. Jesus wasn’t into cheap or convenient love. When push came to shove he gave his own life. I look with awe at young Ukrainians in Ireland who chose to return and give their own individual lives so their fellow countrymen and women and future generations can have a life. This level of altruism gets my attention in an age that seems to say ‘Life is about me’. They are giving us not only a whiff of the age of heroism, but a glimpse of God’s glory.

Here is Thomas Merton’s glimpse of God’s glory in us. “At the centre of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin or illusion, a point of pure truth, a spark which belongs entirely to God, which is never at our disposal, from which God disposes of our lives, which is inaccessible to the fancies of our own mind or the brutalities of our own will. This little point of nothingness and of absolute poverty is the pure glory of God in us. It is so to speak God’s name written in us, our birthright. It is like a pure diamond, blazing with the invisible light of heaven. It is in everybody and if we could see it we would see these billions points of light coming together in the face and blaze of a sun that would make all the darkness and cruelty of life vanish completely. I have no program for this seeing. It is only given. But the gate of heaven is everywhere” – CONJECTURES OF A GUILTY BYSTANDER. Doubleday, 1965, p.142.

Fr. QQ – 05/10/2022

The glory of God is a human being who is fully alive.                     

                                                                   – Attributed to St. Irenaeus

Copyright © carmelitesisters.ie 2022. All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy | Design Credits