Wednesday, January 30, 2019
Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that His hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray Him. – John 13:1,2
Christ loved His own who still walked this earth … and He loved them to the end. By the end, is John stating that He loved His disciples to His last day on earth? No. The resurrected Christ surely loved them. By the end, is John saying that Christ loved His disciples to the fullness of His Love? Sounds more likely. Personally, I believe John is subtly teaching that Love, true Love, the Love that flows from the heart of God, endures and never ceases. Do I Love in such a way? Do I love unceasingly in an ever More Perfect Love?
Yet, I find another bit of mystery. Is there any reason why John abruptly in a manner of harsh contrast that Judas, one of those whom He loved, would be deceived into betraying Christ? I find it odd the juxtaposition of “those whom He loved” and stark characterization of one of those loved ones would betray Him!
Could it be that John, who does not paint an honorable portrait of Judas Iscariot in his Gospel, is feeling the need to remind himself of the nature of Christian Love? I hear John saying, probably most of all to himself, even Judas whom He knew would betray Him, even he would be loved to the end.
When I imagine being in the shoes of John, I would react with utter disdain at what Judas had done. But with time, time spent with the Risen Christ, I belief the disdain would turn first to pity and eventually a restoration of More Perfect Love, the Love by which Christ does Love. It would take time; it would take prayer; it would take a cleansing of my soul of bitterness.
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz