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John 13:31-35

The title message of this blog comes from this extract, and the Fathers have plenty to say on the theme.

This, Augustine says, is how it will be when the tares are separated from the wheat – ‘the righteous shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their father’ (Matthew13:43). Foreseeing this, when Judas went out, Our Lord, left alone with the pure wheat, the Apostles, said he was glorified, as he will be on the last day when the wheat and tares will be separated forever.. In being so glorified, God, with whom he is one, is glorified also, for he came not to do his will but that of the Father. It is the Word of the Father, who is in the son of man, who is glorified – the Father is glorified because the Father and the Son are of one substance.

The passage speaks not only of the immediate glorification on the Cross which was to come, but also, Hilary of Poitiers tells us tells, to the future glory when our nature shall be transformed after the last judgment.

The reference by the Lord to his impending death elicits from his disciples an ever greater awareness of how much they love him. They seek him out in the sense that they seek the Word of God and the power that is in him, but he knows they cannot face what he is going to face soon (Chysostom, Origen and Theodoret). So Jesus gives them a new commandment which is very old – that we should love one another because we are all children of the one God. This loves goes further (St Cyril) than anything perviously commanded because it is not owed. In order to show we are His, we are called to love others more than we love ourselves. St John Chrysostom says that this kind of love is a greater sign to the world of what God is all about than any miracle or any preaching. As we show this love, the artistry of God who paints his portrait on all of us, shines through (Gregory of Nyssa).

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