homily – May 6

John 13:31-33, 34-35

During these weeks following Easter we are celebrating the glory that God the Father bestowed on His Son Jesus. Jesus glorified His Father when He emptied Himself of His divinity and took to Himself our humanity and became obedient even to dying on the cross. Because of His emptying, His humility, His obedience even unto the shameful death on a cross, God the Father raised Jesus from the dead and glorified Him and given Him a name above every name that can be named, in heaven, on earth and under the earth, so that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bend and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

We glorify a person when we give them the praise and honor they deserve, when we acknowledge the good they’ve done, the struggles they’ve endured and the lives they’ve lived.

Acknowledging the many ways our lives have been blessed and graced by God our common prayer is, ‘glory to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen.’

We glorify God when we celebrate the Eucharist and receive the sacraments.

We glorify God when we celebrate the beauty and the wonder of God’s good creation and recognize the woundedness of Earth and try as best we can to heal the Earth.

The final words of today’s gospel are a constant challenge to every one of us; ‘I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.’

Every day of our lives we struggle to be faithful to the new commandment as we try to be patient, forgiving and accepting of all the people who touch our lives, especially those closest to us. There are days we win, there are days we fail.

One of the ways we love another is when we glorify another. We glorify another when we let them know we recognize and acknowledge and appreciate the good they’ve done. We glorify another person when we let them know we understand and support them in the struggles they are going through – as they cope with grief or struggle with addictions or wrestle with a family break up. We glorify another when we admire and support their commitment to and care of a sick spouse, their commitment to the care of aging parents. We glorify parents when we admire their patience and forbearance dealing with sons and daughters who seem to reject the faith and life values their parents offered them.

Spouses glorify each other when they appreciate how each one contributes to the health and wholeness of their relationship, and support one another in good times and in bad.

Parents glorify their sons and daughters when they take pride in their accomplishments, the marks they bring home, and the projects on which they work.

The other week I was at the school for the student’s presentation of Mama Mia. A third of the school took part in the production; they’d been practicing since September. These wonderful children glorified one another in their mutual enthusiasm, and they were glorified by the standing ovation they received from family and friends at the end of the evening.

Every day of our lives we are meant to glorify God and each other by acknowledging the goodness, the generosity, the courage we see in their lives. We glorify ourselves when we acknowledge and celebrate the many ways our lives have been blessed by God.

As we continue to celebrate this Mass we can pray for ourselves and for each other that we be blessed with the graciousness to glorify God by acknowledging the many ways our lives have been enriched and blessed by God and acknowledging the goodness, courage and generosity we see in the lives of family, friends and strangers.