One Thing 4/4/12
As we continue to contemplate the relentless love of Christ that drove Him to the Cross on Friday, it’s interesting to consider that of all the Disciples only John stood at the Cross. In reality, scripture tells us that initially all the Disciples fled, including John. At some point though, John turned around and went back to the Cross and stood with Mary. What caused John to turn around? What set him apart from the other Disciples who stayed away. I believe that the thing that separated them was the experience John had the night before when at the inaugural Eucharist he laid his head on Jesus’ breast. In that moment, I believe he heard the heart beat of Christ. I’m not talking about the physical heart beat, but the true heart of Christ for him. I believe in that moment he encountered the heart, and love of Jesus in a uniquely profound and personal way. From that moment on John refers to himself as “The disciple whom Jesus loved.” He never refers to himself that way before the experience with the heart of Christ, but he refers to himself as the object of Christ’ love 5 times after the Upper Room experience. I’m convinced that from that moment on he uniquely carried the sound of that heart beat in his own heart. I believe that’s what brought him back to the Cross. Just as Jesus was driven by love to the Cross, John too was driven by love to the Cross. When we encounter the true nature of the love of Jesus in a deeply personal way, we fall in love with Him transcendently. We no longer behave; we are driven by the madness of Lovesickeness to live an extravagantly excessive life. He had to be with Jesus. Love compelled him.
I also believe initially, all the Disciples interpreted the Via Dolorosa as a disaster. At some point in his flight, the ringing sound of the heart beat of Christ brought John to a stop, and caused him to go back, because in light of what he knew about Jesus, this all had to be about love, and somehow not a disaster at all.
Have a great day loving Him back.