Hanging on the cross, Jesus is clothed with the splendor of self-emptying love. He thus is the source of blessings.
Jesus was deeply troubled as he told his disciples that one of them would betray him. This and the thought that he would soon suffer and die must have greatly saddened them. Needless to say, gloom, not splendor, has taken over.
And so, he lifts up their spirits. He speaks to them, not of doom and gloom, but of life and splendor. And he tells them that they know the way to the bliss that awaits him and them. He further spells out for them that he is the way and the truth and the life.
That is to say, they and we can go to the Father only through Jesus. And only through him, too, that they and we can know the Father. In fact, to know and see him is to know and see the Father. Besides, to do the life-giving works that Jesus does is to live to the full.
And to take him as the way and the truth and the life cannot but mean to love and to serve to the end. For there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for others. To give up one’s body and to shed one’s blood for others. And it is only through such self-emptying love that Christ’s and the Father’s true face shines in all its splendor. No wonder, Christ draws all to himself and to the Father.
Yes, God is love, and mercy is his distinctive trait (SV.EN XI:328), and he is shockingly, outrageously generous. And no, there is no way that we can match the true face of Christ, of the Father, with the image of God that the guardians of the law show.
Lord Jesus, you passed from the darkness of death to the splendor of your resurrection; let the same splendor be upon us.
7 May 2023
Fifth Sunday of Easter (A)
Acts 6, 1-7; 1 Pt 2, 4-9; Jn 14, 1-12