This Sunday's collect (opening prayer) is beautiful:
Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life: Grant us so perfectly to know your Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his steps in the way that leads to eternal life...
To know God is everlasting life. How simple, yet how mysterious. Relationship. To know is to be in relationship. If I simply let myself be drawn into relationship with the One who is love, Source of all goodness, I live "happily ever after". Everlasting life, however, is not the afterlife-as we may sometimes think. Everlasting life begins here and now, hidden in the soul, made manifest when we love one another, when we love as Christ loves us.
In today's gospel, John 13, the Last Supper, Jesus gives the new commandment:
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.
He gives the new commandment after speaking of glory and of "leaving" the disciples. In a sense, glory is everlasting life, the luminous and loving life of God as it overflows. In commanding divine love (the only love that can be commanded!), Jesus teaches us a secret to participating already in everlasting life, Jesus shows us how to manifest everlasting life in our lives. When we love one another with this mysterious love heaven is on earth...