Dear Father Angelo,
Could you explain to me, in simple terms, the meaning of “God glorifies Jesus” and “Jesus glorifies the Father”?
What do these words mean and what events do they refer to?
I am thinking in particular of the Gospel of next Sunday, May 19th.
I sincerely thank you.
1. The text of the Gospel of John you are referring to is the following: “When he had left, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. (If God is glorified in him,) God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him at once” (Jn 13: 31-32).
2. In the first verse it is stated that in his passion Jesus is glorified, that is, he receives glory.
To understand this, we must keep in mind that in the Gospel of St. John the passion and death of Jesus are seen as an act of conquest and victory.
This is why the Jerusalem Bible comments:
“Now the passion has already begun because Judas, pushed by Satan, has gone out and Jesus celebrates his triumph as already accomplished”.
For this reason, again during the Last Supper, Jesus says: “In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world” (Jn 16:33).
3. Actually, Judas’ departure from the Upper Room marks the beginning of that passion which procures Jesus the greatest glory.
Jesus considers this glory as having already come because his death is accompanied by the most sensational wonders: the sun darkens for three hours, the earth quakes (that is, the cosmic effect of his passion), rocks are split, the veil of temple is torn in two, the bodies of dead saints are raised and conversions accompany and follow this event already on Calvary.
Above all, with the passion and death of Jesus the sin of humanity is atoned for.
At the same time the righteous who await the resurrection in hell are freed by Christ and with him go up to Heaven.
Equally in this glory there is the victory of Christ over the devil, defined as the prince of this world who is cast out.
And there is also the victory over death.
4. For his part, the Father will glorify the Son of man by taking him with him in glory, making him sit at his right and giving him all authority in heaven and on earth.
In this sense, shortly after, in the priestly prayer Jesus will say: “Now glorify me, Father, with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world began” (Jn 17:5).
And also: “And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me. Father, they are your gift to me. I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me, because you loved me before the foundation of the world” (Jn 17:22-24).
With the wish that we can all be among those to whom Jesus gives his glory for eternity, I bless you and remember you in prayer.
Translated by Chiara P.