After Jesus had spoken these words (to his disciples), he looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.
“I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.” ~ John 17:1-11
Who is it we human beings tend to glorify? Politicians? Celebrities? Armed Service members and leaders? Business executives?
What does it mean to be glorified?
Money? Power? A parade in your honor? A statute?
For Jesus, glory meant finishing the work God called him to. Ultimately, that would mean that death would come before the glory of resurrection.
Glory was shown most clearly for all to see as Christ stretched his arms on the cross. I think this might have something to do with why Catholics survey the crucifix - with a dying Jesus stretched out on it - as something to venerate. It's a reminder that glory is costly and unexpected and hard and messy.
And the reason for glory for Jesus isn't personal. It's communal. It is glory that makes God's people one.
Jesus' glory, which started with the beginning of time, is glory that unites rather than divides. It is glory that creates rather than destroys. It is glory that makes whole. That heals.
Jesus came in glory. Not with power, not with ego, not with might.
But Jesus did come to make right.
Holy One, help me not to get too full of myself and need those pats on the back to remind me how great I am. Remind me that your glory is something deeper and fuller than anything I could come up with. Amen