Gospel – John 13:31-33A, 34-35
When Judas had left them, Jesus said,
“Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.
If God is glorified in him,
God will also glorify him in himself,
and God will glorify him at once.
My children, I will be with you only a little while longer.
I give you a new commandment: love one another.
As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.
This is how all will know that you are my disciples,
if you have love for one another.”
Reflection on the Gospel
Let us remember we are in the holy presence of God.
In the beginning “God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). Good exists in everything, and as followers of Christ it is our responsibility to ensure that the goodness remains in all living things. God entrusted humanity with dominion over all living things from plants to animals. We must be stewards for this vital vocation, because according to our Savior “a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit; but a corrupt tree will bring forth evil fruit” (Matthew 7:17). The prevention of evil can only be done with goodness; evil will become nonexistent by nurturing the spirit of goodness in all living things.
The theodicy of St. Augustine states that “nothing evil exists in itself;” the presence of evil in the world is because of humans’ abuse of freewill. Judas’ abandonment of Jesus is portrayed in the Gospel according to John as the corruption of freewill. The Gospel begins with “Judas had left them” (John 13:31), which is analogous for turning away from God. Yet, Judas is not the only man to turn away from God. Throughout history many humans have chosen to turn away from God. However, as a disciple of Jesus it is our ministry to become fishers of these men, and to show them the goodness of the Lord’s love. The ministry of mankind must stimulate the proliferation of goodness throughout God’s creation on planet Earth, and the only way to do this is by following Jesus’ only “commandment: love one another” (John 13:34). This “new commandment” reveals the true nature of discipleship. Only with the seeds of love will humanity be able to cultivate the infinite goodness that God intends for us all.
How will following Jesus’ new commandment: “love one another” help me to see the goodness that God has intended me to see in all of creation? What can I do to help others see the goodness?
St. Peter’s Boys High School – Staten Island, NY
Saint John Baptist de La Salle – Pray for us.
Live, Jesus, in our hearts – Forever.