1st Reading: Acts 20:17-27
From Miletus Paul had the presbyters of the Church at Ephesus summoned. When they came to him, he addressed them, “You know how I lived among you the whole time from the day I first came to the province of Asia. I served the Lord with all humility and with the tears and trials that came to me because of the plots of the Jews, and I did not at all shrink from telling you what was for your benefit, or from teaching you in public or in your homes. I earnestly bore witness for both Jews and Greeks to repentance before God and to faith in our Lord Jesus. But now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem. What will happen to me there I do not know, except that in one city after another the Holy Spirit has been warning me that imprisonment and hardships await me. Yet I consider life of no importance to me, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to bear witness to the Gospel of God’s grace. “But now I know that none of you to whom I preached the kingdom during my travels will ever see my face again. And so I solemnly declare to you this day that I am not responsible for the blood of any of you, for I did not shrink from proclaiming to you the entire plan of God.”
Gospel: Jn 17:1-11a
Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you, just as you gave him authority over all people, so that your son may give eternal life to all you gave him. Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ. I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do. Now glorify me, Father, with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world began. “I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you gave me is from you, because the words you gave to me I have given to them, and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you, and they have believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me, because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine, and I have been glorified in them. And now I will no longer be in the world, but they are in the world, while I am coming to you.”
Glorify me: It is strange to the world that glorification is in the crucifixion of Jesus (cf. Jn 17:1-5), an act that was associated with criminals. It is also strange that Christian faith go hand in hand with the imprisonment and the hardships of a believer (cf. Act 20:23). In all, Christ is glorified in them (cf. Jn 17:10). This logic of Christianity is not of this world. But the very encouraging message is that, amidst this “glorification,” Christ prayed for our safety in this world and he continues doing so in his Father’s presence (cf. Heb 7:23-26). Now that Christ ensures our glorification, we too like Paul, must ensure the glorification of Christ by our life. This glorifying of Christ is sometimes through “imprisonment and hardships” like how the Uganda martyrs did. For others, it is through life challenges and suffering. Let us carry our crosses faithfully, doing all for our Lord, in love.
Prayer: I want to glorify you, my God, with all my heart, with all my being, with all my strength. Amen.