For the Glory of God

by Deacon Lorna Goodison on May 18, 2023

Our society tells us to glory in being our own person, in doing all we can to give ourselves value. But in Sunday’s gospel (John 17:1-11) we learn that true life centers on the glory of God. Jesus’ earthly mission was accomplished, and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He petitioned the Father, “Glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you.”  God’s very presence is glory. He is radiant in the pure beauty of His holiness. In the Old Testament God’s glory is depicted in the power of natural elements such as fire, cloud, wind, and water.  In John, the gospel writer testified of God’s glory being “full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14). This awesome, omnipresent, life-giving glory of God shone through Jesus and His miraculous work on earth; His compassionate healing and feeding, His power over evil, His raising the dead to life. And our true eternal value lies in following Jesus’ example of living for the glory of God.

        Jesus’ ministry culminated in God being glorified, for God was pleased with Jesus’ sacrificial obedience, even to death. In Jesus’ petition to be glorified, we really hear His plea to return to His original divine state of glorified unity with God. “Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.” In His divinity, He had already participated in God’s eternal glory from before creation, but Christ made the enormous sacrifice of casting off His divine glory to live on earth in human form in order to save humanity and usher in God’s reign of peace, harmony, and joy. The glory for which He prays is a restoration of the divine eternal glory shared in oneness with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

      As believers, we are invited into God’s glorious Oneness. But the Paschal mystery invites us to consider that the way to glory involves suffering and sacrificial self-giving. Jesus suffered and then entered glory. We too ought to put away pride, reject self-glory, and grow in loving and giving sacrificially for the good of others, so that our lives give God reverence, praise, and honor for His holiness, His boundless power, and His unending love.  Jesus so passionately desires that we divest ourselves of self-centeredness to share in His glory that in this, His high priestly prayer, before His passion, He prays not just for Himself but for believers to be protected and embraced in the glorious Oneness, the unity of Father and Son through the Holy Spirit. What a profound assurance of our deepest value! Jesus prayed for you and me before His death! God is indeed mindful of lowly humanity!  And God delights in human lives that shine forth His glory and in turn, He offers us true, eternal life through the power of the Spirit. We were made for His glory!  O Lord, how exalted is your Name in all the world!

Tags: holiness, god, passion, glory, compassionate, life-giving, miraculous work

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