Reflection for Holy Tuesday

“Woman, what has that to do with me? My hour has not yet come”. If you joined a study group at St Andrew’s at the beginning of Lent (a million years ago), you’ll remember those strange, seemingly harsh words of Jesus to his mother at the wedding in Cana. Everything in John’s gospel is deliberate, so he clearly wants us to look back at that now, as we hear Jesus say “Now the hour has come”, in yesterday’s passage, and “It was for this very reason that I came to this hour,” today. The Son of Man, and in him the Father, must be glorified – must be revealed – in the passion that is about to commence. He was not revealed in the miracle at Cana – not fully revealed in any miracle, healing, teaching or calling that he had done – his hour had still not come.
Now he is revealed.
Now that the miracles are over; now that no one is being healed; now that his teaching is only to the disciples at the Passover meal – and deeply personal; now that he is just a human being, struggling with the things human beings struggle with.
Now God glorifies his name.
“I have glorified it,” the voice says; I have revealed it, because this hour changes everything, and its power goes back to transform history. Because of this hour, the man at the wedding is no longer just a miracle worker, he is the one who turns darkness to light. No longer just the teacher who calls Andrew and Peter, but the Way the Truth and the Life. The signs were all there, in every word, every touch, every encounter. But they are about to be ignited.
“I will glorify it again.”
What, then, is this hour? This hour when a grain of wheat dies and bears a rich harvest?
It’s the hour of clarity – the hour when we see clearly the meaning of love. All bets are off. All previous versions of God that linger in our minds are cancelled. Here he is – “behold the man” we might say. He couldn’t possibly ask the Father to save him from this hour, because here is the human being in whom “there is nothing that love cannot face; there is no limit to its faith, its hope, its endurance.”
Nothing in all creation can shake that. No virus nor plague, no death nor bereavement, no hell nor high water, can quench the love that is shining now.