Living the Gospel – May 24, 2020

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Christ in us be Glorified; Christ in us be lifted high;
Let His love in us be shown and His praises be known;
Let Christ be Glorified with every song we sing
And praises that we bring. Let Christ be Glorified
In the service that we give and the lives that we live
Let Christ be Glorified

The words to this song reminded me of the beautiful words Jesus spoke in this Sunday’s gospel: “and I have been glorified in them.”

This past Thursday, May 21st, was the feast of the Ascension of our Lord. Jesus had glorified his Father by completing the mission that was given him and now he was going home to the Father. But, the amazing truth is that Jesus was both human and divine and thus, when he ascended to the Father, he carried our humanity within him to the very throne of God. From there he would prepare a place for his disciples to be with him for all eternity.

In today’s gospel, Jesus proclaims “Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.” Jesus had made God the Father known to his followers; in fact everything Jesus did in his time on earth was to glorify his Father. In the gospel accounts of his life, he healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, fed the hungry; he was a friend to sinners and tax collectors, and each time he completed any work, he pointed to God the Father so that his followers might know from where he came. When Jesus said: “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world, but for the ones you sent me”, he knew his disciples would carry on the work he had done; they would continue to proclaim the Kingdom of God to all the earth; they would heal the sick, drive out demons, feed the hungry and all would be done in Jesus’ name, even in times of persecution.

In the Acts of the Apostles 16:22-34 which was the first reading for the mass from this past Tuesday, we can easily see what Jesus meant when he said he would be glorified in his disciples. After Paul and Silas had been beaten severely, they were dragged into the inner–most cell of the prison and chained to a stake, and a guard was ordered to watch them. And what did they do; well, Paul and Silas prayed and sang songs of praise to the Lord. They praised Jesus without fear of tomorrow until an earthquake shook so violently that the chains fell from their feet. As a result; the jailer who was charged with guarding them and his whole family came to believe and were baptized.