Sunday, May 6, 2007

A New Command I Give To You

If you knew you were about to die, what wisdom would you impart on your loved ones in your final moments? What's most important for them to learn from you?

In today's Gospel reading, Jesus knows his time is short. The first thing he says to his friends is praise for God (the Father) while equating himself with God. He even calls his friends "children" as if he himself is God the Father! In so doing, he makes it clear that he is one with the Father -- so totally one that the lines between Father and Savior are blurred. And he does it humbly. He could have said, "Hey guys, in case you're not sure, I am divine. I am God. Worship me." But instead, he focuses on the glory of God.

Then he imparts on his friends the highest wisdom of the universe: We must be humble toward each other or else we do not belong to God. Love is not love unless it unselfishly gives itself to others. Jesus unselfishly gave himself to us completely, even in death. Followers of Jesus are not true followers, disciples are not true disciples, priests are not true priests, lay leaders are not true lay leaders, unless we unselfishly give ourselves to those whom we are called to serve, in love, in humility, and in glory to God.

Questions for Personal Reflection:

Whom do you not love? If you were able to give that person a gift of yourself as an act of love for the glory of God, what would that gift be?