Gospel Lectio Divina for Fifth Sunday of Easter

By David Kilby

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

 

READ

Jn 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.”

 

MEDITATE

the Son of Man glorified

In the Eucharist, in the Scriptures, in the saints and martyrs, Jesus is glorified. He is glorified because of his sacrifice. We worship him on Sunday and every day because he willingly gave himself to us, asking for nothing but love in return. The Son of Man is glorified. It’s interesting that these are the words Jesus spoke as Judas left them. Jesus knew his hour was near. He knew the time when he would die was drawing close. And yet he says he will be glorified. He approaches his death with optimism, focusing only on the good it will bring. What great wisdom. We can learn so much from this. If Jesus can embrace his death so optimistically, imagine what kinds of sufferings he will give us the strength to endure if we just believe in him. 

God is glorified

God is glorified in creation; through the truth, goodness and beauty he created. To be is to be good, because God is good and God is being. He is glorified in these ways, but even more so in his Son. He is glorified in Christ because all of creation celebrates the Son and his sacrifice. It is the way in which creation is restored to its pre-fallen state. We see in God’s creation the cycle of life and death. We see how death gives birth to new life over and over again. In this way, God is glorified in the Son. The Son is manifesting the wisdom and power of the Father through his sacrifice. He is embodying the strongest force in the universe, which is the sacrificial love that lays down its own life to bring forth new life.

If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and God will glorify him at once.

This perpetual exchange of glorification between the Father and the Son alludes to the beauty of the Trinity. It has been said that the Holy Spirit is the love between the Father and the Son. The Father and the Son love each other in a perfect relationship, and that perfect love is also a person: The Third Person of the Trinity. Jesus is emphasizing his unity with the Father while also clarifying the distinction: he distinguishes God from himself. Strangely, he also refers to himself in the Third Person. What profound truth God reveals to the one who searches even just slightly. This is the thought that just came to me: perhaps he refers to himself in the Third Person to further highlight the unity of the Trinity; to show that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are so unified that they can speak of each other and still be referring to themselves. What if, in speaking of the Father and the Son in the Third Person, Jesus was speaking as the Holy Spirit. This would be a fair inference, I believe. After all, Jesus does later say to the apostles, “Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” and then breathes on them with his very own breath. So he and the Holy Spirit are the same God–even if they still are distinct persons. The key here is to recognize their seamless unity. When you or I refer to ourselves in the third person, it may just be an attempt to be cute or funny. But when Jesus does it, he is teaching us the profound unity between God the Father, himself, and the Holy Spirit. 

As I have loved you, so you also should love one another

The connection between unity and love here is clear. Jesus just got done teaching the disciples how he glorifies the Father and the Father glorifies him. The loving relationship between himself and the Father was apparent while Jesus sojourned on earth with them. Now that he is leaving, though, things will be different. His followers will no longer have that apparent example given to them by Jesus’ deeds and testimony. They will have to convey that love between themselves to keep the Gospel alive. This is how the world will know they are Jesus’ followers, because no one else championed love more than Jesus. No one else chose love over everything else like he did. Only through the strength Christ gives us, can we choose love in the same fashion. Praise be to God.

 

PRAY

Dear Lord, I praise you for your unconditional love, and for how you convey it through Christ your son, and through your saints. Help me to be more like them, to show your love to the world, no matter how hard it may be. I only ask that you give me a glimpse of the glory that awaits those who live as your good and faithful servants. This small token of your grace will be the hope that sustains me. May my hope for heaven give me the strength to love here on earth. But also, help me to love unconditionally, seeking nothing in return, just as Jesus did. In His name I pray,  Amen. 

 

LISTEN

As Jesus prepared to leave the earth, he also prepared to give the gift of the Holy Spirit. Be silent and listen to what the Holy Spirit may be saying to you now. 

 

Kilby is a freelance writer from New Jersey and managing editor of Catholic World Report

 

 Glory to the Father The Son and The Holy Spirit

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What Is Lectio Divina?

Lectio divina means “divine reading” in Latin. It is a way of praying with Scripture that has been used by faithful Catholics for centuries. In the Middle Ages, monks practiced lectio divina to commune with God through his word. Now the practice is used by religious communities and laypeople. The method of prayer can be broken into four parts: reading, meditation, prayer and listening.

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