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Father Broheimer: Like Jesus, our glory is found in sacrificial love

During this glorious Paschal season, our churches are decorated beautifully, music is likely full and joyful at the celebration of the Mass, and we are quite aware of the Lord’s Resurrection and celebrating it with devotion.

It is easy for us to consider the glory of the Lord’s Resurrection during the Easter season. However, the Gospel on May 19 takes us back before the Resurrection to the Last Supper. It recounts the exact moment the Passion began, which is right after Judas left to betray the Lord. Jesus tells us a curious detail at that very moment: “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.” His glorification began in the first moment his Passion was set into motion.

The Passion of our Lord and his glorification are completely united. This is so because his new glorification is found foremost in his love for us and obedience to the Father, which led him to suffer and die for us. His glory would increase through the Resurrection and the Ascension, but it is important to note, as our Lord does in this passage from John, that his glorification began in his most holy Passion.

Sometimes we reserve consideration of the Passion of our Lord to the Lenten season. There exists a tendency to want to jump to the glory of the Resurrection not only in our spiritual adherence to Christ, but in our personal lives. We want the glory but not the consideration of the suffering love of Christ or our own sacrifices of service, which bring us to that glory in him.

The Lord immediately followed the announcement that his glorification began with his Passion by extending that same concept to us. He gave us the new commandment to love one another as he has loved us. Like him, our glory is to be found in our real actions of suffering love for his sake and that of our neighbor. Good intentions are not enough. Concrete actions of self-sacrifice are the way our Lord has shown us.

Someone once beautifully put into words this relationship between sacrifice and glory: “A cross borne on earth is but a crown fashioned in heaven.”

Father John Broheimer is pastor of St. Peter Parish in Omaha.

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