24 May 2007 Thursday of the 7th Week of Easter
John 17, 22-26 The Glory Given to Us
In the Gospel, Jesus said that the glory that the Father gave Him, He also gave to us so that we may share it with them. Thus, this glory makes us one with God.
What is the glory of Jesus? First, Jesus referred to the cross as His glory. Whoever would carry His cross and follow Him will be His disciples. What is the glory of the cross? The cross we bear can bring the best in us.
During the time of the knights in the Middle Ages, it was an honor for a knight to fight the fiercest battle for his king. When a knight was missioned to lead the army, the knight became grateful and loyal. It was his badge of honor. To lead an army was indeed a difficult challenge, but for a soldier, it was a privilege. The cross was seen not as a burden or a punishment, but an honor.
In school today, when a student is chosen as an officer of a class or organization, the leadership position should not be seen as a burden, but an opportunity to lead others. The cross the student carries — dealing with difficult personalities, promote unity, create a good learning and working environment — becomes an affirmation of the person’s ability, the other people’s trust. When we give a task to people, we are saying that they have our trust. Our trust is based on their credentials — they have been excellent in the little jobs they’ve done, and so the are now entrusted with the bigger things.
Furthermore, there is another dimension. Jesus said that the glory given to us is for us to be one. The scriptures affirm that each person is given a specific gift or charism. Only when that specific gift is used at the service of a community, can that particular gift be called a ministry. Thus, when our positions of leadership are used for the welfare of the group we serve, then our glory becomes authentic and true.
The knight’s victory in battle is not for himself alone, but for the kingdom that he serves. The student leader’s success is not for himself alone, but for the organization he serves — and the bigger community to which the organization belongs such as the university. The glory is always in the context of a community. It is indeed selfless sacrifice — the cross itself.
*sampaguita vendors outside of the church in UP.