Weekly Missionary Reflection
Sunday, 15 May 2022
Easter Week V
Acts 14:21b-27; Ps.145:8-9,10-11,12-13ab; Rev. 21:1-5a; John 13:31-33a,34-35
This discourse is set in the context of the last supper, when Jesus finished washing the feet of all His disciples, including Judas. Then the betrayer went away in the night: he joined with the “darkness coalition”. The time for the glorification of Jesus was about to come. It’s the right time to talk about His relationship with the Father, His disciples, and the world.
First, the glorious relationship between the Son and Father (cf. “be glorified and glorify” in v. 31-33). In OT the glory and majesty of God is usually seen in history and creation. The event of Exodus is a real example of when God’s glory was performed before Pharaoh, the Egyptian army, and the Israelites. Then God’s glory was clearly shown in all the works of His Son (11:4, 17:4), especially in His death on the cross. Why does the cross become the sign of glory? First, on the cross, God shows how much He loves humans, and how deep He concerns the world, by giving His only Son (John 3:14).
Second, on the cross, the Son is glorified. The cross which is usually the most contemptible punishment for humans is made by God as the moment of glorifying His Son.
Second, the relationship of loving one another between the Son and His people. It is uncommon to describe Jesus as a father or parent. He greeted His disciples “My children”. It is common for a Jewish rabbi to greet his disciples like that. But here Jesus appeared as a dying father: the right time to leave a will/testament. His will is a new commandment for loving one another (v. 34-35). What is new? Of course not its definition. The OT has told the commandment to love fellow nations and also the foreigners (Lev. 19). Nor is it that love must embrace all human beings like other evangelists’ version (Mat. 5:42-47; Luke 10:20-27). What is new in John’s Gospel is brotherly love among the congregation. Love is not made by a congregation, but it comes from Jesus’s love for them (v. 34). Therefore, love is a commandment as well as grace, demanding, and giving. He just exemplified such kind of love by washing their feet (John 13:1-17) and He would show it more fully when He surrendered His life for them (John 15:13). As Jesus had shown His love, so should His disciples have such love: caring for each other and ready to surrender life till the end!
Third, the relationship between the Son and the world through us. Through the cross, the Son shared His life and love with all His disciples. Therefore, brotherly love in the congregation is also presenting the Lord to the world. All humanity can experience Jesus’ love through the love of His congregation (v. 35). Love should be a sign and characteristic of the Lord’s congregation: the only “flag of communion” of the various Christ’s congregations. The characteristic of the Lord’s congregation is not in the structure or well-managed organizations or great schools and magnificent hospitals, etc. Lord’s congregation is the brotherhood of people who loves one another, as He was ready to wash the feet and gave Himself to death. That is the inheritance from the Risen Lord. His legacy as well as order to love each other should be practiced and lived in the present world.
(Hortensius Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy, and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the salvation of the world. May the Holy Spirit animating Jesus, also be my guidance and strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus, and the Church, in particular, I present my prayer for our Pope and apostle prayer of the Indonesian Church this month:
For Universal Churches: For the faith of the youth
We pray for the called young people to live life to their fullest; hope they can learn to listen, to have deep discretion, to have the courage of faith, and to present themselves in the service.
For Indonesian Churches’ intention: To live the rosary
With Mary, we hope to be enabled to feel the simplicity and depth of the rosary and be willing to pray it for those who need our prayer.