In the gospel he authored, John calls himself, “the disciple Jesus loves.” Interesting. Did he mean that Jesus did not love the others? Not at all. He knew better. However, his own self-perception was wrapped up in being loved by Jesus. And so rather than mention himself by name, he uses that rather stunning description to identify himself—a description that could be used of any of Jesus’ disciples, then or today. The challenge is for me to see myself this way. Rather than see myself as the one whom Jesus tolerates… or the one with whom Jesus is disappointed… or even disgusted. What if I were to see myself as “the disciple Jesus… loves?” That dream is made reality when I come face to face with the message of the cross—a message that tells me via loudspeaker that he cannot love me more (even on what I think is a “good” day), and that he will not love me less (even on what I think is a “bad” day). He does not love me because I am good, but because I am his.