Alvin D. Paligutan. O.S.A.
Villanova Preparatory School
Acts 1: 12-14
Ps 27: 1, 4, 7-8
1 Pt 4: 13-16
Jn 17: 1-11a
The Glory of God
There are two points which I would like to share with you today, the Seventh Sunday of Easter. The first is how we are all connected and related to one another, as members of God’s family and particularly as Christians and Catholics, as members of the Church, the Body of Christ. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ. We identify ourselves through our relationships with other people - we are brothers, sisters, grandparents, mothers, fathers, members of our religious communities, daughters, sons, spouses, coworkers and so on. How does Jesus Christ identify himself? As we have been hearing in John’s Gospel throughout the Easter season, our Lord identifies himself as the Son of God, who has a special relationship with the Father. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “If you know me, then you’ll also know the Father.” He also says, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” Clearly, Christ Jesus and God the Father are one, bound by the Holy Spirit, the one true God, the Holy Trinity.
This relationship between Christ Jesus and the Father is evident in the entire conversation and prayer our good Lord has with God, in John’s Gospel today. This brings us to the second point, which is the glory of God made manifest in our world today and in our lives. Jesus says, “I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do.” Our part, as Church and sisters and brothers in Christ, is to continue this mission which the Lord has started by loving God and one another; by working for peace and justice in our world; by practicing forgiveness, mercy and thanksgiving. We extend a helping hand to those who are poor, oppressed and in need of our assistance. We connect with God through prayer and the sacraments, and inform and nourish our faith through spiritual reading and the study of Scripture, reflecting and meditating on God’s word. We welcome the stranger and refugees and treat them with respect and compassion. We also pray for each other and ask for the prayers and intercessions of our spiritual mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the saints. These are some of the works involved in God’s Kingdom and glory.
The glory of God, however, not only involves works but also the moments and mysteries of life, including the birth of a child, First Communion, a teenager’s Confirmation, a wedding in the family, death and dying, long-term illness, suffering, and mourning the loss of a loved one, among others. We have to continue to trust in God’s never-failing providence, that God’s hand is in all these aspects of life.
In John’s Gospel, Jesus says, “Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you, just as you gave him authority over all people, so that your son may give eternal life to all you gave him.” Authority here does not mean worldly power, ambition and rule over all people, but the genuine and everlasting love and pastoral care which only the Good Shepherd can give. In these words of our Lord Jesus, it is apparent that God wants all of us to be saved and redeemed (which is why Christ came to be with us) and have eternal salvation and life, which is what the glory of God and the Kingdom is all about as well. May you continue to have a most blessed and happy season of Easter of our Lord’s Resurrection.