Seventh Sunday of Easter (Year A) – World Communication Day

Acts 1:12-14; Psalm 27:1, 4, 7-8a (R.v.13); 1 Pet 4:13-16; John 17:1-11a

Beloved in Christ, as we celebrate today, the world communication day, the Holy Father, Pope Francis encourages us to tell our story in the midst of the crisis that has enveloped the world. This story is the story of our faith. He warned us against telling stories that are fake and give false hope. We should rather tell the Gospel story, which will renew and strengthen us and the world. And so today, we tell the story of the glorification in Christ.

As the end of his earthly life becomes even more imminent, Jesus is more conscious of sustaining the faith of his disciples. Hence, at the beginning of his long priestly prayer, he asked the Father to glorify him with that glory they had shared together from the beginning (cf. John 17:5), knowing that his disciples, who has a share in him, would share in that glory. With his ascension into glory with the human body, we are glorified with him. But we only share in that glorification through faith (cf. John 17:6-8).

Why does Jesus even need this glorification? He had spent his entire life running away from being glorified by man; he lived like every other Jew and would not allow people see him as a very special person. Even after some of his miracles, especially in the Gospel of Mark, he would instruct the beneficiaries not to make him known. But this time, the hour has come (John 17:1).

This hour that he talked about is the hour of grace; the hour of salvation and glory. He talked about this hour at the wedding at Cana when his mother shared the peoples difficulties with him. He had said in reply, my hour has not yet come (John 2:4). From there, we could deduce that this hour is the hour of victory over oppression and suffering that the children of God face.

Again, the fact that Jesus refrained from giving himself the glory (cf. John 8:54) and did not allow the people to glorify him teaches us the right channel we are to follow in relation to glory and praises.

How do we react when we have done something very good for people and they are showering us with praises or even fail to do so? Do we see the praises as our right that must be given to us or do we remember that all good things come from God (Jam 1:17) and that the glory is for him and not for man? It is God who would glorify us in the end.

Notice also the place of prayer in the First Reading and the Gospel. It was during his solemn prayer that Jesus observed that his hour of glory has now come. Note that the other reference to this hour of glory, when the Greeks visited Jesus, was immediately followed with an insight on his suffering (cf. John 12:23-24). That became practical on the cross when the centurion declared, Surely this was an upright man (Luke 23:47). So suffering is not divorced from glory. That is why the disciples needed to spend time in prayer so that when the Holy Spirit falls on them, they would be able to embrace whatever difficulty that might come their way gloriously.

However, the suffering that we are talking about is the suffering that comes to us for following the cause of righteousness and not the kind that comes to us as a result of evil deed. That was exactly the point that St. Peter makes in the Second Reading.

We must therefore pray always that the Holy Spirit may guide us in the cause of right so that we may, in the end, have a share in the glory of Christ that is to be revealed (cf. Rom 8:18). Amen

Peace be with you.

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