From Miletus Paul sent for the elders of the church of Ephesus. When they arrived he addressed these words to them:
‘You know what my way of life has been ever since the first day I set foot among you in Asia, how I have served the Lord in all humility, with all the sorrows and trials that came to me through the plots of the Jews. I have not hesitated to do anything that would be helpful to you; I have preached to you, and instructed you both in public and in your homes, urging both Jews and Greeks to turn to God and to believe in our Lord Jesus.
‘And now you see me a prisoner already in spirit; I am on my way to Jerusalem, but have no idea what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit, in town after town, has made it clear enough that imprisonment and persecution await me. But life to me is not a thing to waste words on, provided that when I finish my race I have carried out the mission the Lord Jesus gave me – and that was to bear witness to the Good News of God’s grace.
‘I now feel sure that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will ever see my face again. And so here and now I swear that my conscience is clear as far as all of you are concerned, for I have without faltering put before you the whole of God’s purpose.’
Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said:
‘Father, the hour has come:
glorify your Son
so that your Son may glorify you;
and, through the power over all mankind that you have given him,
let him give eternal life to all those you have entrusted to him.
And eternal life is this:
to know you,
the only true God,
and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
I have glorified you on earth
and finished the work that you gave me to do.
Now, Father, it is time for you to glorify me
with that glory I had with you
before ever the world was.
I have made your name known
to the men you took from the world to give me.
They were yours and you gave them to me,
and they have kept your word.
Now at last they know
that all you have given me comes indeed from you;
for I have given them the teaching you gave to me,
and they have truly accepted this, that I came from you,
and have believed that it was you who sent me.
I pray for them;
I am not praying for the world
but for those you have given me,
because they belong to you:
all I have is yours
and all you have is mine,
and in them I am glorified.
I am not in the world any longer,
but they are in the world,
and I am coming to you.’
And eternal life is this: to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent… all I have is yours and all you have is mine and in them I am glorified.
How do we glorify God? Prayers? The Glory be? How did Jesus glorify His Father? By accomplishing His Father’s will. But before that, accepting the plan that the Father had for Him. Jesus gave glory to His Father by His life, death and resurrection.
Are we glorifying God solely with prayers or by our lives/actions too? The reality is that it is always difficult to practice what we preach. Prayers alone won’t make any sense unless we live out our faith. Many times we are trapped with seeking to glorify ourselves, sometimes unintentionally. But it’s only human to desire recognition and appreciation. But more than that, we need to know as humans, we also yearn for love and acceptance. Not just temporary, but everlasting.
As in the first reading, Paul and Christ Himself, in the Gospel, are able to glorify God with their lives. For they realise that all they have comes from the Father and is given from above. A struggle that many of us find it hard to reconcile. Are we actually putting in effort in order to be able to live this life now, but yet all glory goes to God regardless?
I see this from the point of view where it serves as a reminder and even a prevention from falling into sin. Where we acknowledge His presence in our lives and not fall into the sin of pride. When we say we live our lives for God, we are actually saying we live our lives for all, for everyone.
Let us cherish this life that we have, to use our gifts to glorify God, in a way where we can live our lives to the fullest. God doesn’t need us to glorify Him. But in doing so, we are living life to the fullest…. a life that blesses us with love and acceptance.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Benjamin Mao)
Prayer: Dear Lord, may your glory continue to shine in our lives as we seek to glorify you in all that we do and say. All glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit… as it was in the beginning, now and forever shall be. World without end. Amen.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord, for showing us the way, the truth, the life. Thank you Lord for always accepting and loving us first. Amen.