If you are like me, the word love initially conjures a notion of sentimentality—of being enraptured with feelings of affection, attraction, and wistful longing particularly for another person. For instance, a couple entering into a romantic relationship might be said to be “falling in love,” and might say to one another, “I love you.” You might be familiar with the Song of Solomon in scripture which poetically expresses the inebriation associated with such love. Listen to these beautiful words: As an apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among young men. With great delight I sat in his shadow, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.He brought me to the banqueting house, and his intention towards me was love. And a reply: You have ravished my heart, my sister, my bride, you have ravished my heart with a glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace. How sweet is your love, my sister, my bride![i]
But, eros, or romantic love, is not the only form of love that we are capable of feeling and expressing. We also express love filially. Filial love is not a romantic love, but a love that we express for our children, or for a favorite grandparent, aunt or uncle—those whom we nurture or have been nurtured. We love certain friends with which we have established a bond: perhaps someone we got to know in school, or worked closely with in our career, or even someone we have grown close to through a particular experience which created intense feelings of identification. Last weekend I enjoyed a visit from five of my closest friends whom I have not seen in a long time. What is striking about that experience is that no matter how long we are away from each other, when we do have an occasion to reunite, it is as if we were never separated—in a sense, we just pick up where we left off, sharing our experiences since we were last together while simultaneously enjoying each other in the present moment.
Fifth Sunday of Easter
Acts 11: 1 – 18
Revelation 21: 1 – 6
John 13: 31 – 35
There’s that word. I wonder if you noticed it this time. It’s not a very big word. In fact, it’s just three letters long. It’s a pretty common word. We use it a lot. But, John doesn’t. At least not in this context. And when he does, it’s huge! Cosmic events are unleashed when Jesus utters one, tiny, common word. Now. Now. Now.
When [Judas] had gone out, Jesus said, ‘Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.
Jesus has used this word in John’s gospel once before. He used it in the previous chapter, just after his encounter with the Greeks.
Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, ‘Sir, we wish to see Jesus.’ 
In response to their request we wish to see Jesus, he says much the same as he does in today’s gospel.
‘Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—“Father, save me from this hour”? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.’ Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.’
Throughout Lent and Easter tide this year, I’ve been praying with literature devoted to the Five Wounds of Christ. The meditative remembrance of Christ’s Passion was a profoundly meaningful practice in the spiritual lives of Medieval Christians, especially in England, and by the fourteenth century the visions and writings of saints steeped in such meditation concentrated with special intensity on the Five Wounds inflicted upon Christ’s Body: the nail holes in his right and left wrists, both of his feet, and the spear-wound in his side. These holy men and women saw the wounds of Jesus not as repugnant scars but as precious insignia testifying to the depths of God’s Love,as floodgates of Christ’s healing lifeblood, and as portals into the mysteries of Heaven. The seeds of such imagery are found in the Resurrection appearances in the gospels of Luke and John. When Jesus appears in the upper room, the disciple’s natural response is shock and fear, confusion and disbelief. Amid this rush of complex emotions, these distinctive marks clarify their vision and melt their hearts as they recognize the impossible: this is their Teacher, Friend, and Lord, crucified-and-risen.