I recently read a story about Steph Curry, the uncontested best basketball player on the NBA's best team. After winning the Most Valuable Player award last year Curry lead his Golden State Warriors to the NBA championship. Personally, I love watching Curry and his unselfish teammates play. They have drawn a lot of fans not only because of their winning ways but they really seem to embody true sportsmanship and love of the game.
The incident in the article that caught my eye was about Curry making an appearance while at the NBA All-Star game. Curry's personal security guard had to "lead him on a dead sprint through a department store, running low like back in the days of a house raid, to escape a mob of fans" (Sports Illustrated 4/18/16). Here is a quote from a recent USA Today article, "Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry’s skillful, joyful and excellent play has not only helped make him the MVP, it has turned him into one of the league’s most beloved players." Even though Curry is only 28 and very much in the prime of his career he is being glorified by some as the best basketball player ever. The debate will surely rage on for some time. This week's Gospel gives us the opportunity to understand what true glorification means and how it should shape our lives and behaviors.
When Judas had left them, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and God will glorify him at once. My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:31-33A, 34-35
Here at the Last Supper Jesus is in the midst of what must have been an incredibly emotional experience for His disciples. These words are spoken after Jesus washes their feet. In the moments just hours before His Passion and death Jesus surely speaks from the depths of His being knowing how important these last words will be to His disciples. And we might argue that everything comes down to this short sentence:
There is no doubt that Jesus is clearly speaking of His glorification as the Son of Man! Keep in mind the Son of Man has just humbly performed the lowly foot washing. What a tender and loving time that must have been. And then Jesus showed the world what true love really is. He willingly went to His death. Jesus spoke of the glory of God and the love that must accompany everything done in His name.
Steph Curry has become incredibly well known. The thing that I love the most about Steph Curry is his humility. In spite of all of his worldly success, Curry acknowledges his Lord and Savior after each one of his signature long-range rainbow three-point baskets. Interviews with people that know and interact with Curry acknowledge it too. People often point to his genuinely lived faith.
If Jesus is our Lord and Savior, we are called to love as He did. As we live out our lives for Christ, loving as He did, we will stand out as a light for Him in this dark world. I believe this photo of Steph Curry captures that concept very well.