Easter 5 :: Love

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The Machair, Iona, Scotland

It is unfortunate that lectionary texts often leave out important bits of information. So this week's gospel passage begins:

“When he had gone out…”

So who is this “he” being mentioned? Well, you’ve got to go back a few verses to find out. It is Judas. And in just a few passages prior to our reading for today we hear of Judas' role in the events leading up to Jesus' arrest, trial, and crucifixion. So…

“When he had gone out…” is when Jesus talks about his glorification. The moment is now. The presence of God is to be made visible to all in the events which are soon to take place: events which Judas helps set in motion through his betrayal.

This is nothing short of amazing. Here is Jesus, knowing that one of his friends is soon to turn against him, knowing that he will soon pay the ultimate price for showing people who God really is, knowing that others will desert him in his time of greatest need. And what does he then talk about? Love.

He could tell his followers to exact revenge on Judas. But he admonishes them to love.

He could warn his friends to choose better friends [not like that Judas]. But he tells them to love one another.

He could promise to rain down fire on all their enemies. But love is spoken.

He could give them a certain hope that all would be well. But he gives them love instead.

Actually, though, love is the certain hope he imparts on them. And it is that love—shown within the community of Christ—that brings hope to the world.

Thanks be to God!

RCL lectionary for the Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year C

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