After Easter Sunday, this is the 2nd Sunday in a row that presents to us very short Gospel passages to reflect on. A longer gospel reading satisfies our thirst for the Word of God, after a week of longing for it and expecting it. But a short gospel seems too little, too abrupt, too unentertaining!

However, a shorter gospel strikes a stronger punch. Just because there are few words does not mean there is less to bring home in its message and challenge.

John 13: 31-35 speaks to us of glory, a word we rarely use in daily conversation. It is a special word in the realm of religion, in the ambit of spirituality, in the context of the divine. Jesus speaks of himself as being glorified. It is true that in the Resurrection, God the Father glorified his Son – that means he exalted him, brought him honor, lavished him with praise. If at the Jordan, the voice was heard – This is my Beloved Son – then in the Resurrection, the message is clear – He is my glorified Son.

The glory of Jesus came at a price. He received his glory not because he was wise, or dexterous or successful. He received his glory because he willingly and humbly embraced the Cross – with its pain, shame, darkness and death. For him it was: after the cross, came the glory! This is what we mean when we say “Lord” – that word means glorified by the Father, but only after he surrendered himself trustingly to the cross.

How can we share in this glory? Jesus gives us the formula today in the new commandment: love one another. Again a short statement but not an easy one, huh?

If Jesus’ cross was a huge, wooden block of wood, our cross is this challenge to love. What keeps many of us from experiencing the glory of being followers of Jesus is that fact that we cannot love as he did. We must admit that there are many hindrances to love. There are people we cannot forgive. There are people who have hurt us too deeply. There are people who refuse to appreciate us or accept us or welcome us in their midst.

Isn’t it true that at times, it is from our families that we experience the worst kind of rejection? For church people, isn’t it true that those we considered brothers or sisters in the faith dealt us the severest wounds? How can you love? How can you forgive? How can you heal?

Jesus offers his help for us to reach his glory. He says: “as I have loved you, so you also should love one another.” We will not do it alone. We will do it with him. We will do it through him. We will do it in his name. Our glory will come not from our efforts. It will come by trusting, imitating, and uniting ourselves with the one who loves us the most. After the Cross, receive the glory!

(pls share this blog for the greater glory of God!)