John 13: 31-35




A young man confronted one of the greatest trials of his life and he was totally confused. He went to confide in an old wise man who gave him an enigmatic piece of advice. The wise man said: After the cross, glory!


Today the Lord Jesus speaks about his glory. The gospel of John contains a section called the Book of Glory which starts precisely on chapter 13, where our reading today comes from. What is this glory Jesus speaks of? This refers to his impending return to the Father, the hour when the Father will manifest his power in the life and witness of his Son. Jesus will be exalted when he is lifted up and all people will recognize in him the Son of God, who sits at the right hand of the Father.


But an interesting part of the Gospel is the mention of Judas at the beginning. Noticing this, I asked myself, what is this man doing here? He seems like an uninvited guest, an annoying passerby, an intruder. But perhaps the mention of Judas is a signpost, a reminder and a lesson. Jesus knows that his glory will not come cheap. His glory will be the result of many opposition, untold challenges, and agonizing suffering that will lead him to death on the Cross. Even as Son of God, Jesus in his earthly life will have to earn his glory.


Are there not moments when we wish life was just so easy and comfortable? That we can have all that we want to possess, eat what we crave after, reach our bucket list of destinations? Don’t we wish that all good things will come to us ready and served on a golden platter? But no, part of the mystery of life is that the road to glory is laced with crosses we need to carry, overcome or endure. Like Jesus, we can attain the state of bliss, we can reach our heaven, only when we first embrace the Cross. Indeed, in life, after the cross… glory.


The gospel teaches us how Jesus succeeded in bridging the gap between the cross and glory. The Lord carried his cross, not with murmuring or complaint or grudges, but with love. And so, he can confidently tell us: I give you a new commandment – love one another. Jesus embraced his cross not without difficulty, but with more love than we can imagine. His love transformed the cross slowly into sacrifice, offering, and dedication to the Father and to us. While the shadow of Judas loomed large behind him, the love in Jesus’ heart shone bright to dispel its dark presence.


Glory awaits us in view of the challenges we face daily with our Risen Lord Jesus Christ! Let us pray that we may learn to love like him, love our daily crosses, love in the midst of every challenge and trial.


thanks fr tam nguyen for the photo…