Year C - Easter5 or Assured5
April 24, 2016
When there is confusion, there is also the possibility of a clarification that will lead us further on.
In this case the disciples appear confused after Jesus gives a teaching, an assurance—”I assure you that whoever receives someone I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”
This seems fairly humble and real. Where does the confusion come in?
It seems to be generated at a shift in the action. After the conclusion to the foot-washing scene with the words about “receiving”, there should be more of a stage direction than, “After he said these things, Jesus was deeply disturbed.” How should that "after" be played.
Reading silently can scrunch things up so we don’t feel as significant a break here that begins a parenthetical comment about Judas before returning to the assurance about receiving. Try deleting verses 21-33 and see how it reads.
The disconnect between receiving and loving is unfortunate in a culture that does linear better than tangled. We like our one-liners but miss the way they parallelism can bolster and inform.
I prefer having the sequence be 13:1-21, 34-35, then the disturbance and confusion (21-22) is about the lack of love between the disciples and Jesus (23-33). What is your preference?