Always give glory to God. VII Sunday of Easter (A)

Joseph Evans comments on the readings of the VII Sunday of Easter and Luis Herrera offers a short video homily.

Joseph Evans-May 18, 2023-Reading time: 2 minutes

The Church prays around Mary and Jesus prays to his Father. These are the dominant themes of today’s readings. And the dominant theme of Christ’s prayer is his Father’s glory. “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you … I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work which you gave me to do; and now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory which I had with you before the world was made.” He then explains how he is glorified in his faithful disciples.

In the second reading, St Peter exhorts us to share Christ’s sufferings so as to rejoice and be glad “when his glory is revealed”. And just before, in that same epistle, he had exclaimed “to him belong glory and dominion for ever and ever”.

Deo omnis gloria! “All the glory to God!” So goes the great cry. But giving glory to God is easier to say than to understand. How can we ‘give’ glory to God? We add nothing to his glory, and though our good deeds do indeed glorify him, our condemnation would too, showing his justice and righteousness in the face of our wickedness.

Giving glory to God is recognising that all glory belongs to him. “Glory”, kabod in Hebrew, also suggests God’s holiness and has the idea of weight and substance. In contrast, all created things are hebel, vapour, breath, mere vanity, as Ecclesiastes 1:2 so dramatically expresses it. So, giving glory to God recognises him as the source of all power, being and goodness. Whereas we are mere breath (God took dust and breathed life in it, the book of Genesis tells us about the creation of man), God is the only one who has substantial being. Giving glory to God is acknowledging and building our own existence on this reality; or, to use another but related image, making God the rock, the foundation of our lives.

If we build our lives on God, on what is substantial and not on what is breath, we will share his life and being, and therefore his glory, in heaven.

Prayer is the best way to glorify God because through it we recognise him as our power source. Thus the Church praying around Mary in today’s first reading is glorifying God and, not surprisingly, paves the way for the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, that great manifestation of divine glory to launch the Church’s life. 

But we also want to glorify God in our daily work and lives: “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor 10:31). Without distracting ourselves from the activity at hand, to which we must give our full concentration in order to do it well, we can also turn to God from time to time to help us carry out that task in a way pleasing to him. In this way we both work better and gradually turn work into prayer.

Homily on the readings of Sunday, Easter Sunday VII (A)

The priest Luis Herrera Campo offers its nanomiliaA short one-minute reflection for these Sunday readings.

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