Our appointed gospel lesson for this week is at the tail end of the Last Supper and the beginning of what is sometimes referred to as the upper room discourse.
Jesus begins this teaching with a command that gives Maundy Thursday its name. The Great Commandment is this: “love one another”.
31 When [Judas] had gone out, Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32 If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. 33 Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, "Where I am going, you cannot come.' 34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
The world is watching those who claim to follow after Jesus. The world is watching us. They are watching to see if we live what we say we believe. They are watching how we treat each other. They are watching how we treat our brothers and sisters from other denominations. They are watching how we treat our enemies.
If we are disciples of Jesus then our lives should be shaped by his life. Our words should be shaped by his words. Our love should be shaped by his love. Our lives should be shaped by his death. And our deaths should be shaped by his life after the grave.
Jesus tells the disciples (and us) that for the time being we cannot go where he is going. We are called to stay here and to bear witness to Jesus. The world wants to know if this Jesus is real. The world wants to know if there is a love that does better than the broken forms of love of this world. The world wants to know about things spiritual. The world is thirsty and hunger and empty.
When we love we slake thirst and sate hunger and fill voids.
God use us as agents of your love in this troubled world. Amen.