Gospel: “One of the disciples whom Lord loved asked Jesus whom He was speaking.
Jesus revealed that it was Judas” John 13. 21- 38
This particular gospel text tells us about John the Beloved or the disciple whom Jesus loved. When Jesus told them frankly that one of His apostles was about to betray Him, everyone turned suspicious to one another and others were very defensive. They looked at each other with doubt and anger and telling Jesus Christ not I Lord. It is only John who was courageously enough to dare to ask Jesus who He was referring of. Did Jesus play favourites among His apostles that John was being called “the disciple whom Jesus loved very much”?
Apparently, it was not Jesus who declared such new identity of John but rather it was the writers who gave him such title because of the kind of attitude that he displayed in his relationship with Jesus. According to John Skinny, John stands in total contrast of Peter especially and the rest of the apostles. While Peter expresses confusion, doubt and misunderstanding, John always considers Jesus as praiseworthy. He gets everything right and indicates firm loyalty to Jesus. He was described as the disciple leaning at the breast of Jesus not because he was a favourite disciple of Jesus but he responded unselfishly to the intimacy offered by Jesus. He was very near and dear to Jesus because of his so much love for the Lord. Love shapes him into a classic follower of Jesus. The First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians (13.4-8) states that “LOVE IS PATIENT, IT IS KIND, IT DOES NOT DISHONOUR OTHERS, IT IS NOT SELF- SEEKING, IT DOES NOT EASILY ANGERED, LOVE PROTECTS, ALWAYS TRUSTS, HOPES. LOVE NEVER FAILS.”
If we continue digging profoundly on the life of John the beloved, he faced martyrdom when his enemies threw him in huge boiling oil but was miraculously delivered from death which forced the authority to just make him as a slave in the mines of Patmos. Later, he was set free because of his old age and finally died peacefully. See what love can do?
Today’s gospel invites to meditate on what divine love is. When we are passionate about it, it saves us from any harm and human infirmities, it can heal both our spiritual and physical brokenness; it guarantees us long and happy life and brings us holy death so that we can receive life in eternity.