John 13:31b-35 (NRSV)
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.”
By John Grimm
Holy Week is that season of the year in which we re-learn a new commandment from Jesus. The final instructions before Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion are vital to our life here on earth. As we recognize Jesus being glorified through his willingness to love us here on earth, we come to terms with how we can live as his disciples.
What are we to do? This new commandment is how we live the eternal life we have from Jesus. Because of Jesus drawing us to himself, we get to live here and now. This eternal life is evident by our consistently, faithfully and persistently loving one another.
As Jesus’ disciples, we recognize that Jesus has been glorified by his willingness to suffer and die. We are cognizant of Jesus’ love because God came to dwell among us, in the flesh. This truth is how we live the eternal life we have through Jesus. It is in our flesh that we love one another. The Son of Man walked among the unlovable, the intolerant and those ashamed of themselves. How else are we to live our eternal life but by walking among the unlovable, the intolerant and those ashamed of themselves, even as we love those who are disciples?
Jesus, your instructions are hard. We face the truth that we get to love one another for our eternal life here on earth. In our own past, we have failed to love. Yet, you still have been glorified! Your Spirit is with us now so that can live this new commandment. Work in us the ability and desire to love one another so we may once again be known as your disciples. May we be found loving one another when you return to reign on earth. Amen.