Day 39 – Intimacy Revealed




Yesterday we said that God shows no partiality. You may wonder, is that really true? Didn't Jesus have His favourite friends and disciples? The first ones who come to our minds could be Jesus' friends, Mary, Martha and Lazarus. As Jesus was also a human being bound by time and space, He could not be there for many people at the same time during His short three years of public ministry. He needed to focus and grow some deeper relationships rather than being everything for everyone. Apparently, time spent on selected relationships would nurture closer friendships.

Speaking of the concept of BELOVEDNESS yesterday, one prime example of Jesus' beloved disciple was John. What made John "attractive" to Jesus? Why not Peter, whom Jesus chose to be the leader of the Twelve? Indeed, Peter, James and John were all closer to Jesus than the other Apostles. They could all be called beloved disciples of Jesus. But John was special…

If you recall, when Jesus chose His Apostles and when He picked John and James, Jesus gave them the nickname of "Boanerges", meaning "sons of thunder" (Mark 3:17). That should tell us that the two brothers were not good-tempered, if not fiery. So, why did Jesus choose John to be His beloved disciple? Let us take a closer look at how John approached Jesus. Instead of treating Jesus as Lord, master, teacher or someone way up high and unapproachable, he treated Jesus as his best friend, whom he also loved.

"Belovedness" is mutual in nature. It is not that Jesus preferentially chose John to be His beloved and so treated John with favouritism. That would be against the nature of God. The difference lies in how we approach this greatest lover of all time, Jesus!

When Jesus was deeply troubled at the Last Supper (John 13:21), John was at His side…

One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was lying close to the breast of Jesus.

(John 13:23)

As John stayed close to Jesus’ Heart, he knew what Jesus needed and so he stayed close to Jesus through His Passion. He followed Jesus closely to His Cross, where he stayed also close to Mother Mary. With John’s gift to Jesus by remaining close to Him and the one Jesus loved most, His mother, Jesus also gave John the best gift…

"Behold, your mother." Jesus said to John. And from that hour John took her into his home.

(John 19:27)

This beautiful painting was painted by a FARMER called Simon in Toronto. Our deepest gratitude to him for sharing!

Based on Church's tradition, John was the unnamed disciple who  acted immediately and followed Jesus after hearing the word from John the Baptist: "Behold, the Lamb of God". He and Andrew asked Jesus the question, “Rabbi, where are you staying?” As Jesus answered them vaguely, Come, and you will see.” They went and stayed with Jesus. (John 1:35-40)

Through his desire to be close to Jesus and to stay with Him, John was gradually tamed and he surrendered himself completely to Jesus for the rest of his life. That is why he was always described in the Gospel as the disciple whom Jesus loved.

We should be convinced by now that God shows no partiality, so when it is said that Jesus loves someone in particular, the only reason is that the person is willing to be loved and engaged in an intimate relationship with Jesus. Jesus reacts to our response to His invitation for love!

That is the invitation of today, Good Friday. As we relive the most "devastating" moments of Jesus' life, let us ask ourselves, "How much am I willing to dive into a deeper relationship with Jesus?" How inclined are we to stay at zero-distance next to Jesus’ Heart like John (John 13:23)?  Are we willing to embrace Jesus as our beloved the same way He embraces us as His?


Have you been waiting for God to take initiative in reaching out and speaking to you? Compared to St. John, have you been too passive in your relationship with God?

As John was so close to Jesus, he could ask Jesus questions and get answers from Him directly, just as Jesus disclosed Judas' betrayal first to John. Does this reveal to you the secret of hearing God"s voice more easily? Would this new understanding change how you would relate to God?

As you have heard the reason behind the belovedness of John in Jesus' eyes, what is the Spirit"s invitation to you moving forward?


Dear Jesus, it dawns on me that I haven't been taking enough initiative in reaching out to You and following You closely. Now I understand why St. John was Your beloved disciple. I have a lot to learn from him! Jesus, I realize that You cherish me more than I cherish You. Help me to learn from John to be at Your side and by Your Heart always, to tend to Your needs and to quench Your thirst as You continue suffering for all mankind. As I commemorate Your crucifixion, help me abstain from any form of evil to ease your pain, and to stay close to You to give You comfort.

I ask this in Your holy name. Amen!

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Song: 《Fall in love》by AMDG
Music / Artist: Vansie@AMDG
Lyrics: Fr. Pedro Arrupe, S.J. (1907-1991)
Piano: R Hayashi@Jumping Notes

Nothing is more practical than finding God,
than falling in Love in an absolute and final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination,
will affect everything.
It will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed,
what you do with your evenings,
What you read, what you sing,
whom you know, whom you serve,
What breaks your heart,
What soothes your pain
How you will spend your Saturdays
Where you will go on Christmas Day
What fills your heart with joy
What fills your heart with thanks
Let’s fall in Love,
Let’s stay in love,
It will decide everything.

Copyright © Vansie Kwok, 2014, All Rights Reserved

If you find this reflection helpful and have not registered to receive our daily email, we invite you to sign up here. If you have a Facebook account and would like to share your thoughts there, we invite you to join this Facebook group .

Sincerely invite you to share the reflections that inspires you by this day's retreat.

If you have benefited from "Farmer of Hearts — Our Journey Home" spiritually,
we hope you can consider supporting our work.
Please use the button at the top of the web page to make an online donation.