Audio :The Tenderness of God in St.John’s Gospel. La Tendresse de St.Jean dans levangile de St.Jean

Jeudi 28 février 2019

La Tendresse de St.Jean dans levangile de St.Jean The Tenderness of God in ‘Saint John’. (A) La Tendresse de Dieu dans l’Evangile de St.Jean The Word of God is a wonderful music. As in any concert, there are places which are excessively privileged, we might say that St John is a very privileged place where we see God’s Infinite Tenderness that is made manifest and that becomes more and more interior. As Love deepens, it becomes contemplation, it becomes compassionbecause Love as it is experienced on earth is a waiting for the Kingdom, and it is in a state of suffering. We might even say that it is the place of greatest suffering. Jesus’ agony manifests the suffering of a wounded Love.Now, the Ressurection will be the manifestation of a Love that has overcome all suffering. The beloved disciple, the disciple Jesus loved,St John, received Mary, God’s Treasure, Jesus’ Treasure So he has us penetrate as far as we can go into the mystery of the Tenderness of God’s Heart. St John does this by a silent contemplation without ever using the word ‘Heart’, nor ‘Mary’ nor ‘tenderness’ but on the other hand he will speak of the Bosom of the Father. He will speak about this place of the heart, the side,the breast, the inner most part of his being , with an immense respect he will speak of Jesus’ Mother who became his mother, and he will speak of ‘Love’. And in fact we come back to what we were saying in the beginning,, because they are the same expressions inthe Greek but which correspond to the Hebrew. In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, turned towards God, face to face with God, and the Word was God. Right from the prologue, he plunges us into contemplation, we are close to the Loved one, turned towards the Loved one, face to face with the the Loved one, It is the movement of Love and the Dwelling place of Love. Right from the beginning, in the prologue there is this attraction !, this face to face, this movement… God, no one has ever seen, an only Son, a God who is an only Son,THE only Son, He who is turned towards the Father, in the Father, relative to the Father, right from the start Saint John situates the mystery of Love at the same time, in this freshly new dwellin place and in the movement of Love. He who dwells the Bosom of the Father, He has made known. There is no possibility of knowing God without Love, without loving. Love alone has us penetrate into God’s Mystery ,to know ; to know God and the word ‘to know’ in the Bible is the strongest experience of human love :‘Adam knew Eve’ The Only Son in the Bosom of the Father had him known, he revealed him, made Him known. Here we are in full contemplation of Love. This Love is at the same time contemplative Rest and always in movement, both together. We find the ‘Iam. ‘He is, was and is to come’ This movement of Jesus towards us manifestes the Being of the beloved Son. movement o the beloved Son. He is in the Father as the Father is in Him. He came down from Heaven, Love in movement : ‘God so loved the world that He gave his Only Son. ‘I came down from Heaven so that …and He goes to the Father,…it is a movement of Love. Jesus passes fromt his world to the Father, Jesus goes up to Heaven to join the Father. Theseare all of St John‘s expressions… On the one hand, a dwelling place of Love, a state of Love which is a permanent one, and is eternal. And on the other hand, an eternal movement. It is a dynamism and in fact this dynamism is the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of the Father and Jesus Spirit, in God who remains One, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The orhodoxcs will talk about a ‘danse of Love’, a loving dance. The Word was with God, He who was turned towards the Bosom of the Father. And in this dependance there is a fundamental dependance that is freeing ! With these two images, on a psychological level, to depend on one’s little cat, alienates us. If we depend on God, we are made free. Depending on the person we love frees us. If we depend on something then it alienates us. We are always moving back and forth… what are our dependances ? If it is a person we love, it frees us, if it is God, I am set free. If it is a thing, I am alienated. If we give ourselves totally to God, then we are freed, if we give ourselves totally to things, then this is an alienation. The Son is the expression of the Father, and the Father has only the Son through whom He can be made manifest. Each one through each other. ‘He who sees me sees the Father’ said Jesus. The Loved one dwells constantly in the One she or he loves. He or she is never more himself than when he dwells in the one he or she loves. The Son can do nothing by Himself, only what he sees the Father doing, asthe Father has Love in Him…etc Immediatelty when we contemplate theCross in St John, it is situated differently, in complementarily to the other Evnagilsits. « My Life no-one takes it away from me, I give it.’ Says Jesus. The only mortal wound Jesus receives is given too late, He is already dead. He has given Himself inHis Eucharist For St John the Cross is an Offering ! Men have done everything they can to put him to death, yet He gives his own life. St John shows us the immense intimacy between the Father and the Son. This Mystery of Love, for Christians we can onlytalk about God if we are in a state of Love, otherwise we are likely to create a caricature. In saying ‘The Son is in the Bosom of the Father’, Jesus is telling us something. He is telling us about the extraordinary intimacy between the Father and the Son. We mustn’t project upon God our own desires. We can only express with our own words, and from our own experiences, but it is something that completely goes beyond us. This extraordinary Love of the Father and the Son, is the eternal birth of the Only Son, because the Bosom of the Father, the bosom of Our Blessed Lady, these guts of Mercy are the place of regenreration and an eternal regeneration. The Fathers of the Church say this about the Son, Jesus :‘For Jesus, the Son of the Father, to beand to be born is the same thing.’ A love is always in a state of birth, in a permanent renewal. In the Gospel we find this Bosom in the Gospel, with his poor rich man and Lazarus. When Lazarus dies he is in Heaven in Abraham s bosom,the place of Love. In The Song of Songs we read ‘My beloved is a sachet of myrre resting between my breasts. Immediateley we are transported into a world of contemplation, a place of great respect, the place of the dwelling place, and the place of the movement of Love.

The Tenderness of God in St John’s Gosepl (B) La Tendresse de Dieu en Saint Jean. « I came so that you may have life’ Jesus truely is our Life. In Hebrews we read that it is He who the day of having presented with a violent clamour’ the words are very strong, a violent clamour, the clamour of the oceans are nothing compared to the clamour of the Son of God. We need to see Jesus like a soldier who will free us at all price form death, from darkness, from anguish, to give us Life. Jesus took on our own humanity and went so far as saying ’My God, my God, why have you abandonned me ?’ in order to reach us, however far we are from rupture with God. He is the Tenderness of the Father for us. The Bosom of the Father, will little by little become the Bosom of Jesus, the place of divine birth In chapter 7, St John says « Living waters will flow from His Bosom. »

We always find in St. John many possibilites of different interpretations, they complement each other. We already see in the Prologue He who is born neither from flesh nor from blood or human will..’ At the same time it is in the singular, adressed to the Son, and in the plural, adressed to the children of God. Well, it is the same thing in that chapter. In Ch 7 we read Jesus stood up and cried out ‘ If anyone thirst, let Him come to me and drink, whovever believes in me.’

According to the words of scripture, from his bosom. The Bosom of the Father, the Bosom of the Son, the Bosom of humanity. This time it joins Mary’s Bosom. It is the same place where God’s Tenderness will be made manifest. Henceforth it is in our humanity that this is going to come about. The combat of St Theresa of Avila,ressembles that of St Thérèse of Lisieux, the Little Flower. Thérèse will say to her sister Céline, ‘Look, I love you too much, we’re going to have to be seperated, Therese will say ‘surely not’. It is true we always need to be purified, but God will never allow a seperation. It’s something very, very mysterious.

Teresa of Avila will write to her spiritual accompanier ‘ We have to leave humanity to go towards Divinity.’ Pierre will tell her ‘ Surely not ! From now on the only way of joining Divinty is to go through humanity.’ It is something very mysterious. For henceforth He has made his dwelling place in him. ‘From his Bosom Living Waters flowed. He was speaking of the Spirit that those who belived in Him were to recieve, for they hadn’t yet the Spirit. The Manifestation of Infinite Love hadn’t yet been made, because Jesus hadn’t yet been glorified. The Holy Spirit will be given to us when Jesus will be on the Cross with His Open Heart, He breathed on them, He gave them the Holy Spirit. A New Creation. In St Luke, this woman who cries out ‘Blessed the woman who bore you.. » and Jesus will reply ‘ Blessed is she who hears the Word of God and puts it into practice.’ So we always come back again and again to Divinity.

Now, this Heart of Jesus is already mentioned in the First Covenant. When Moses strikes the Rock, and it will give water for the people thirsty in the desert,it is the sign of this New Rock that is Christ and who will be struck by the spear. From his heart will flow Blood and Water. In the Song of Songs ‘My dove, hidden in the hollow of the rock..’ All of the First Testament is a marvellous preparation of the Revelation of Jesus, it’s all there, but it’s like a post card, you know that is all flat ‘ the rocks inthe desert will be watered.’ He drew brooks from the stones and rivers of water flowed.’ So he struck the Rock, waters and torrents gushed forth.’ Gradually, Love became suffering, gentle, opening, a gaping, so that Love passes forth.

‘The Woman who cries in child-birth pangs.’ This Word is about Mary, we fin dit in the Apocalypse. Isaiaih will say do we bring to birth a people all together. First you bring to birth the head and then the body.’ The Mystery of the Church. There are many prefigurations concerning these sources of Living Waters. But what Jesus already says, in chapter 4, the water I will give will become springs of living water overflowing into eternal Life. When we have become touched by Love, we become a source of Love. St John of the Cross will have this wonderful phrase :’ The most infected and painful wounds ..(the doctor will say that when gangrene has started ,) if they are touched by Love they will become a source of Love. » This is what the Living God does. These Living Waters… So to become a source of Love, we have to remain on Jesus’ Bosom. So this concerns John. He rested upon Jesus’ Breast. Now it’s the same thing, a great Mystery. We go from the Bosom of the Father to the Bosom of Jesus. Ch.13 of St John : « Having spoken Jesus was troubled in spirit and said ‘Truely I say unto you,one of you will betray me.’ The Mystery of Love will always be the Mystery of Love that is not beleived. And when you don’t believe, God can do nothing, He is in a state of agony, He is crucified. Very mysterious. I liked very much this interpretation we talked about at the’ School of Communion’ : poor Judas, he must have listened to the things that were being said about Jesus, and gradually these gossipings moulded (formed)him. You se ewe must be very careful about heeding to careless talk and murmurings. We need to pay attention to what we hear for we can lose confidence. We lose confidence, seperate ourselves and become murmurs and we betray the one we loved. It is so mysterious. ‘Having said that Jesus was troubled in spirit and said ‘truely truely I say unto you, one of you will betray me. » The disciples looked at each other , they were lying down, for at that time people lay down , sat around the tables, and John was right next to Jesus , he was in the Bosom of Jesus. Once again we find the Son in the Bosom of the Father, John in the Bosom of Jesus, and once more the waterfall starts off for Love. In the Bosom of Jesus is the disicple Jesus loved. Peter gave a sign to him,’ask him who is going to deliver him ?’ Peter is ready to pick up his sword and put it into whoever it was. So John swings across to Jesus, he falls back onto Jesus’ breast, it’s very mysterious, according to the text, falling back, leaning onto Jesus’ breast he asks ’Who is it Lord ?’ The mystery of the Intimacy of Love.