Somebody once wrote that love is many-sided. How true! Love certainly has many dimensions. The love that Jesus speaks of in his farewell discourse has the dimension of sacrifice which he himself is about to make, so it has a historical dimension that speaks to a man with all the majesty of the cross. Yet at the same time love has a suprahistorical dimension that goes beyond history, the dimension of the gift refused by the “Amor sui usque ad contemptum Dei (the love of self even to the contempt of God)” of Satan, and very often distorted or destroyed in the hearts of mankind. This gift must therefore return, by way of Jesus, to its source, so that man may rediscover himself within the covenant of all its fullness. That is the “why” of the cross. That is why Jesus leaves the Upper Room and begins the final stage of his journey toward the cross. God, who from the beginning wishes to be a gift to mankind and who is the overflowing source of all giving, is revealed in the mystery of the Cross. “Deus absconditus (the hidden God)” (Isaiah 45:15).
– St. John Paul II, Sign of Contradiction