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Archive for February 1st, 2020


Saturday, February 1, 2020

John 13:1-5: Holiness

john-of-the-cross[1]This week we have been considering the concept of betrayal – in particular betrayal by one near to us and well-loved.  Plots to kill prophets, a cherished teacher turned over to authorities by a well-respected disciple, betrayal at the deepest and most sensitive core.  Years ago a colleague wondered aloud if he ought to alert a supervisor of a co-worker’s laziness and lack of loyalty.  My thinking was that our supervisor already knew: “This will cut deeply when the truth is known,” my colleague observed.  “Yes,” I agreed, “And all the more because they have been such close friends”.  We nodded to one another in quiet understanding.  Months later the truth came to light, so did the pain, and – fortunately for all of us – the suffering was accompanied by holiness.

Robert F. Morneau writes about holiness at such a time as described by St. John of the Cross: “Essentially, this way of holiness was the doing of God’s will and a refusal to live a life of self-interest and self-indulgence.  Holiness is more than an intellectual assent to what God teaches through Scripture and the teachers in the church.  Holiness is actually doing faith, putting into action the decrees of God.  But there must be a radical awareness that one’s holiness is rooted in one’s relationship with God, fostered by prayer.  Only when disciplined prayer and the offering of one’s life in service come together are we on the road to holiness”. 

IM000314.JPGIn today’s Noontime we see Jesus as the consummate servant leader.  He not only washes his followers’ feet, he gives over his life so that they . . . and we . . . may live forever with him.  This, of course, we can easily see as holiness.  The more difficult task is to be the servant leader to even those who wish to see us fail.  We remember that Judas Iscariot was one of the twelve who lived with Jesus and then betrayed him.

Jesus knew that his hour had come . . .

He loved his own in the world, and he loved them to the end . . .  So during supper, fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power . . . Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel around his waist.

Jesus, the consummate servant leader, puts his faith into action.  Radically aware of what he is meant to do, he hands over all to the Father . . . and he kneels to do the simplest of tasks.  He cleans the feet of those who follow him.  He loves his own, and he loves them to the end.  And so must we tend to those who follow us, even those who betray us . . . for this is holiness.  This is the way through and beyond the deepest betrayal.


DAILY REFLECTIONS FOR ADVENT & CHRISTMAS: WAITING IN JOYFUL HOPE 2010-11, Robert F. Morneau, 38-39.

Written on December 14, 2010. Re-written and posted today as a Favorite. 

For more on John of the Cross, click on the link or images above or go to: http://www.doctorsofthecatholicchurch.com/JC.html

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