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Jn 13: 34

Easter – 5th Sunday

We use the word ‘glory’ many times in our worship and prayer: ‘Glory to God in the highest…Glory be to the Father…Glory to you, O Lord.’ This biblical word describes a special relationship between the Father and Himself.

The Father is glorified in Jesus – his total person, his life, his mission. At the same time, the Father glorifies Jesus his Son, because of his faithfulness and Jesus’ obedience. As Christians, how do we read the gospel so as to experience the glory of God and return all glory to God?

First, the gospel shows how Jesus gives glory to his Father. He accomplishes this through the Cross – not through pleasure, comfort, or superficial efforts. The Cross was Jesus’ gift of love to his Father. Through the Cross, he showed his obedience, his surrender, his reverence for the Father’s plan for his life. We too, give glory to God and to the people around us, when we willingly accept the challenge to sacrifice for others. A person who seeks the easy way out will not know the meaning of glory. But a person who bravely confronts life pleases God and the people who trust in him.

A former parishioner called me days back to inform me that he has finally finished college and is now ready to work. He remembered the times he wanted to quit his studies because of poverty. But he creatively strived to help his parents realize the family’s hopes for him and now, he is rightfully proud of himself and thankful to God. Glory comes at a price. If you do not know pain, you will not attain it. You will not know its meaning. But if you are willing to harness your potentials, even if the task is difficult, then you can be of real service to others.

Second, God the Father glorifies Jesus because the Father is ever-faithful. Jesus held on to his faith in the Father’s love and protection. Even in the darkness of the Cross, his faith was unshaken. He knew that the Father would not allow evil, sin and death to have the final word. The Father’s love for his Son transformed the Cross into glory and victory.

When we experience difficulties, we are tempted to believe that no one cares, no one listens. Let us remember that God knows everything that happens to us; everything that goes on inside the heart. If you live in obedience to his will, he will reveal himself as a Father to you, just as he is the Father of the Lord Jesus. Believe in the faithfulness of God as Jesus did, as the saints did.

Daily, we have opportunities to offer our crosses to the Lord and glorify him by our obedience. The faithfulness of God will be revealed in our lives as we humbly seek to follow him and to trust him in the midst of all the events of our lives.