"God Is Glorified in Jesus Christ"

Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year C

15 May 2022

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. And death shall be no more; neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.” Rev. 21:4

St. Paul in today’s first reading from the Acts of Apostles (Acts 14:21-7) gives us the theme for today’s readings. He is entreating the Church to remain steadfast: “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” Acts. 14:21 Jesus, in the gospel, which takes place at the Last Supper, tells His disciples that now He will be glorified: “Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in Him.” Jn. 13:31 Jesus will be glorified in His Passion, death and Resurrection as He fulfils His Father’s will. In the Second Reading from the Book of Revelation (Rev. 21:1-5), we are given the final fruits of all the suffering in this world when God “...will wipe away every tear from their eyes. And death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.” Rev. 21:4

New Jerusalem, the Bride of Christ

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth. For the first heaven and the first earth was gone, and the sea is now no more. Rev. 21:4

This revelation given to St. John is a prophetic message which we should keep uppermost in our minds. We have not been made for this world which is passing away! There will be a new heaven and a new earth. It will be the New Jerusalem made ready as a bride adorned for her husband: “And I John saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Rev. 21:2 In this New Jerusalem, the City of God in eternity, we will see God face to face, and we will be espoused to God for all eternity in love. This is the teaching of the Catholic Church on grace which states that with sanctifying grace we become children of God, sharing in His divine nature and destined to be heirs of heaven for all eternity. According to St. Paul, this is the reason Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself to redeem us and make us His spotless bride: Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church, and delivered himself up for it: That he might sanctify it, cleansing it by the laver of water in the word of life: That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy, and without blemish. Eph. 5:25-27 Jesus embraces His Church and everyone in it in spousal love. As this is only veiled here on earth, the closest we can come to understanding it is with Catholic marriage: “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall be two in one flesh.” Eph. 5:31 Bl. Columba Marmion tells us that the meaning of the “Parable of the Marriage Feast” is that the King (God the Father) gave a marriage feast for His Son who became man by assuming a human nature:And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” Jn. 1:14 Thus the Hypostatic Union of the two natures, divine and human, in Jesus Christ is analogous to the spousal love of Jesus Christ for His Church and thus each soul.

The New Commandment of Love

The eternal love with which God will love every soul in heaven is seen in today’s gospel (Jn. 13:31-35). At first, Jesus speaks of the glory that He will receive from “being delivered” into the hands of His enemies by Judas: “When he therefore was gone out, Jesus said: Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him.” Jn. 13:31. Jesus gives His Father the greatest glory of any creature because He does His Father’s will in all things. The love that Jesus has for us is shown in His obedience to His Father in suffering and dying on the Cross. Because of this obedience, the Father will glorify the Son by raising Him from the dead. This glory which Jesus receives from the Father is because of the love which He has for the Father and the Father for Him: “God is love!” I Jn. 4:8 This is why Jesus could not convince us of anything more important on this the last night of His life than love: “A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.” Jn. 13:34-4 This is how we will all know that we are His disciples by our love for one another. As Jesus received glory from the Father because He loved the Father and did His will, so, too, will His disciple receive glory if they love one another as Jesus loved them and died on the Cross for love of them: “Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Jn. 15:13

“Whither I go you cannot come; so, I say to you now.” Jn. 13:33

Jesus tells us that we cannot go with Him now, but we will go to Him later after we have followed His example and loved one another. This is the meaning of today’s scriptures. We will enter the New Jerusalem, the Holy City, where there will be a new heaven and a new earth and where there will be no tears and no mourning and no death. We will be united with God, our heavenly spouse, in love as we will share in the divine nature because we are in the state of sanctifying grace which enables us to share in God’s Divine life which is love. Then we will be united as His spouses for all eternity: “The Lord hath appeared from afar to me. Yea I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore have I drawn thee, taking pity on thee.” Jer. 31:3 This is why Jesus sacrificed Himself for His Church, His bride. St. Augustine told us long ago how much God loved us and how much we need Him: “Our hearts are restless until they rest in thee.”

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