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April 1, 2018

“He saw and believed.” It is interesting that this unknown disciple is identified only as “the beloved disciple.” No name. Rather he is identified by his relationship with Jesus. We know, of course, that Jesus loves all of us. But there must have been a depth of personal love between this disciple and Jesus that was special.

Love makes possible a form of understanding that goes beyond simply rational thinking. On the face of it, the fact that the two disciples “did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead,” would lead them to believe that the empty tomb indicated merely that someone had stolen the body of Jesus. Resurrecting a dead body had never happened before. Both Peter and the disciple saw the same thing, but only the one identified by the depth of his love saw beyond the burial cloths to believe that Jesus had truly been raised from the dead.

It is natural to wonder what caused this special love to grow between Jesus and the disciple. Perhaps, standing at the foot of the cross, he came to appreciate more fully Jesus’ depth of commitment, his willingness to give his life for us. It came from being stunned by being loved by God. It came from being overwhelmed by the person of Jesus dying on our behalf.

Each time we celebrate the Eucharist we are equivalently at the foot of the cross. There, once again Jesus gives himself completely to us. The Mass situates us once again in the loving embrace of One who gave everything for us. There his body is again given us and his blood poured out for us.

How is it possible not to love Jesus in return?

Let Us Pray

O loving Jesus, I am filled with gratitude that you have been raised to new life. Deepen the love that I have for you so that I may always see beyond the things of this world to penetrate the mysteries of the world to come. May my heart vibrate in tune with yours.

 

Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)


About Paul J. Bernier, SSS

Blessed Sacrament Father Paul J. Bernier served for many years as the editor of Emmanuel. He is a popular writer, preacher, and director of retreats. Among his many published works is Ministry in the Church: A Historical and Pastoral Approach, Second Edition, published by Orbis Books in 2015. His most recent book is A Eucharistic Spirituality: Inspired by Saint Peter Julian Eymard – Apostle of the Eucharist, which he co-authored with Jim Brown.