The Prayer of Jesus
“Glory” is the key word in today’s powerful and sublime prayer of Jesus in behalf of His Church, His present and future followers, to the Father to complete within it what He has begun. Since the 16th century, it has been called the High-Priestly Prayer, because this speaks of Jesus as a priest about to offer a sacrifice. In His case, of course, the sacrifice He offers is His own life. In this prayer, Jesus speaks directly to His Father in the presence of the apostles, thus intentionally giving them a glimpse into His relationship with His Father.
Six times that Jesus mentions this word ‘glory.’ He asks God the Father to give glory to Him so that He in turn may give glory back to God the Father. In other words, He is telling us to give glory to the Father as what He has done.
But how can we give glory to God everyday of our lives? A historian responded: “You have to die first before you find your glory!” Of course Jesus did it for us. And a concrete example too was the former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln. He had enemies during his lifetime especially during the time of his presidency. But even those who had criticized him saw His greatness when he died. An example was Stanton, Lincoln’s archenemy, when he looked at his dead body with tears in his eyes, he said: “There lies the greatest ruler of men the world has ever seen.”
Today’s readings complement each other very well in the perspective they give on our relation with Christ and our apostolate as Christians. A priest, in his homily, gave us three qualities by which we can give glory to God in our daily lives without dying physically. These are: prayer, willingness to carry our crosses and faithfulness to God.
First is Prayer. When we pray we open ourselves to God and constantly communicate to Him. We allow God to transform us. When we pray, God becomes the center of our lives and accept what truly matters that is, loving God and accepting the love He has for us. But when we pray let us remember what Bill Hybels in his, Too Busy Not To Pray (IVP, p. 74) says: “If the request is wrong, God says, ‘No.’ If the timing is wrong, God says, ‘Slow.’ If you are wrong, God says, ‘Grow.’ But if the request is right, the timing is right and you are right, God says, ‘Go!’”
Second is willingness to carry our crosses. If we carry our crosses, we praise Jesus, shows our love and devotion to God the Father. When we carry our cross let us remember what Billy Graham in his, The Offense of the Cross, had said: “When Jesus said, ‘If you are going to follow me, you have to take up a cross,’ it was the same as saying, ‘Come and bring your electric chair with you. Take up the gas chamber and follow me.’ He did not have a beautiful gold cross in mind, the cross on a church steeple or on the front of your Bible. Jesus had in mind a place of execution.”
Third is faithfulness to God. This is shown in loving Him with our whole heart and our neighbor as ourselves through acts of charity and compassion toward others, speaks of God’s infinite goodness and loving care for every one of us. And also let us not forget what F.B. Meyer had said: “Don’t waste your time waiting and longing for large opportunities which may never come. But faithfully handle the little things that are always claiming your attention.”