Monday, April 25, 2016


          This homily is about glory.  But I would like to start with tears, specifically wiping tears from eyes.
          Last Sunday our second reading was from the Book of Revelation chapter SEVEN, and we heard: “… and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” 
          This Sunday our second reading is also from the Book of Revelation, but this time chapter TWENTY-ONE, and again we hear: “He (God) will wipe every tear from their eyes…”
          This image of God wiping away the tears of the saints appears only twice in the Book of Revelation, chapters 7 and 21, and we have them two Sundays in a row.   Hmmmm.
          Have you ever had someone wipe a tear from your eyes?  Perhaps when you were little and had fallen, or older when you lost someone very close to you, or had some terrible disappointment? 
          Did you ever wipe the tears from someone else’s eyes?  Maybe from the eyes of your child, or your spouse, or a very close friend?
          Think about that act of wiping tears from someone’s eye.  The Book of Revelation tells us that is what God will do for His people, for us.   ¿What kind of an act is that?
          Well, it is a caring act.  It shows tenderness and intimacy.  It is an act of service and concern.  It is very personal.  It is something only people very close to each other do for each other.  It is a sign of empathy.  It is beautiful.
          I also believe it is glorious.  And I will explain how in just a minute.
          GLORY is a central theme of the Gospel of John.  In our Gospel today we heard: “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 God will glorify him at once.”   
That is a lot of “glory” talk.  And when does Jesus proclaim all this glory?  John tells us When Judas had left them, Jesus said,
“Now is the Son of Man glorified,…”
and so on.    
Jesus is proclaiming He is glorified when Judas left them.  Where was Judas going?  Well, this is the account of the Last Supper and Judas is going off to betray Jesus.  Judas’ betrayal starts the whole action of Jesus being falsely condemned in a kangaroo court, His being insulted, whipped, and finally crucified, a painful death designed to maximize shame and insult.  It was hardly “glorious”.
          And yet Jesus chooses that critical moment of Judas going to betray Him that Jesus states “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.” 
          How can that be?  Well, Jesus is talking about a different glory than what we usually see here on earth.  Jesus is not talking about power, about spectacle, about extraordinary wonders, about glory as we normally think about it here on earth.  Rather, as St. John tells us at the very beginning of His Gospel, in that beautifully poetic prologue to his Gospel, that the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us,   and we saw his glory,   the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.
         “The glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.”   This is NOT the worldly glory of power, of domination, of conquest and subjugation.  This glory from heaven is very different, almost the opposite:  “The glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.”  
          This is the glory of truth, of compassion, of tenderness, of service, of righteousness, of love.  It is NOT the glory of the world, but rather the glory of God.  And it is expressed in tenderness, in wiping the tears from the eyes of the saints.  It is the glory of a parent getting up in the middle of the night to care for a child.  It is the glory of a neighbor helping an elderly neighbor to get groceries.  It is the glory of a friend listening patiently and attentively to a friend who is troubled.  It is the glory that shines in Jesus. 
          That is the glory each of us, and all of us together as a community, are called to by our Baptism.  “God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”  It is important and necessary therefore for us to practice that glory by wiping the tears from the eyes of all those around us.  We are called to reach out to support, to help, to sustain all those in need.  That is our glory.  It is the glory of Jesus Christ.
That is our call.  That is our hope.  That is our glory. 


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