Body and Blood of Christ

A New Commandment

 

When he had gone out, Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.   Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, 'Where I am going, you cannot come.' I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.  Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.   By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."   
                                                                                       John 13: 31-35


                                                                                   

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A New Commandment

When Jesus talks about his glorification, we think of his resurrection, his ascension to heaven and his sitting at God’s right hand.  All these events are full of wonder.  The brightness of the first Easter morning still lights up the world. While still remaining whom he was, and recognizably so, Jesus was changed, changed utterly. His breathtaking emergence from the tomb transformed the lives of those who were with him. They had followed him to Jerusalem with quaking hearts. When danger really arrived, they fled, hid themselves and denied him. Because of the Easter experience, these same people overnight became fearless preachers of the Word and in time faced death with resolute hearts.

That conclusion may seem logical enough. Oddly enough, Jesus did not see things that way at all.

In the biblical tradition the glory of God was the tangible visible expression of his presence. Understandably, imaginations conjured up images that included earthquakes, mountains convulsing, smoke and flame filled skies. It was seen that only such mind blowing events could adequately manifest the reality of divine presence. 

With stunning insight and imagination, the New Testament turned this all around. The wonder of God was seen in a helpless man, pinned to the cross, derided and mocked, dying in agony. It is precisely at the moment of absolute loss, the death of Jesus, that the centurion proclaims that ˜In truth, this man was the Son of God,” Mk. 15:39. ˜When you have lifted up the Son of Man then you will know that I am.” Jn.8:28. In other words, then you will encounter the living presence of God which is described as ˜I am” in the biblical tradition, Exod. 3:14. When Judas departs from the Last Supper to kick start the process of betrayal, arrest, mockery and death, Jesus proclaims that here and now the glorification begins, Jn.13:31.

So when Jesus speaks of his glorification he is referring to that horrendous process which revealed so dramatically the unfathomable love of God. That love begs our response.  Only love can answer love and so Paul has God pleading with his creation, to be reconciled to me, 2 Cor: 5.20.


                                                                                 Benedict Hegarty

 

 

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Jesus

This is the Story of Jesus drawn from the four Evangelists

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Unfolding the Story of jesus

Gospel passages accompanied by a number of brief commentaries

Unfolding the story of jesus