St. John’s Gospel describes the passion and death of Jesus as the hour for glorifying the Son of God. The Cross is meant to lift him on high, to be with the Father (cf. Jn3:14, 8:28). “And when I am lifted up from the earth, I shall draw all to myself…I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness” (Jn 12:32,46). Scripture clearly said that Jesus must rise from the dead, yet his disciples had not completely understood this when it happened, but John the beloved apostle silently “saw and believed” when he witnessed the empty tomb and linen cloths. (Jn 20:8-9). Mary Magdalene was given the mission to announce to the brothers that Jesus had risen, will ascend to the Father, and continue the earthly journey [as we will] by searching for and joyfully encountering the God of the universe in our living out of Jesus’ way of love, mercy and forgiveness.
The light of Jesus gets dimmed by the harbinger of evil who awaits for space to capture the hearts of people. Satan cannot enter unless one gives in to his deceitful temptations. Judas deliberately chose to give up on God’s forgiving love, giving Satan room to operate. On the other hand, Peter sincerely expressed his commitment to ‘lay down his life for Jesus’ but he did not realize he was merely relying on his human weakness. Prayer will give us the strength to overcome the enemy–Satan, as we lift up our thoughts, words and actions to Jesus. Jesus shares with us His glory in the Easter Triduum “lifting up”—1st of the chalice of His Body and Blood on Holy Thursday; 2nd of His Cross on Good Friday, and 3rd of the Paschal Candle on Holy Saturday.
Sharing Jesus is tantamount to growing in His grace day by day, with the courage to heal and be healed, as the Spirit gives us the strength to cope with each step of earth’s journey to eternal life. With God on our side there is no fear, and we can lift up our voices: “The Lord is the fortress of my life, I will not be afraid. Though war break out against me, my trust will never be shaken. For He hides me away under his roof on the day of evil” (Ps 27:1,3,5). “Rejoice in the Lord, you who are blameless, and give praise to his holy name” (Ps 97:12). Let us also beg Mary to fill us with the Spirit’s heavenly graces as we go forth to share the shining light of Jesus risen and “lifted high” in our hearts. Alleluia!