Wednesday in the Seventh Week of Easter at Mississippi Abbey
Today we heard the second part of Jesus’ intercessory prayer at the Last Supper. Yesterday we heard the first part and tomorrow we will hear the third and final part.
For whom is Jesus praying? In the first third he prays for himself, “Give glory to your Son”; in the second part he prays for his disciples, “Keep them from the Evil One”; In the final third Jesus prays for those who will come to believe in him through the word of his disciples: “Father, may they know that you love them even as you have loved me and see the glory you have given me.”
What does Jesus mean by “the glory”? Is glory the honor and applause given for great achievements? No, not the praise, but the ability to do great things. God’s glory is the divine nature itself, just as an athlete’s glory is his or her exceptional physical ability. Or, an opera singer’s glory is not the applause she receives but her beautiful voice. Jesus wants to share his glory with us, the divine nature itself. As St. Thomas Aquinas writes, “The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make [us] gods.” 1
Well, this is heavy stuff. Let’s lighten up a little bit by illustrating it with a story about a farmer’s glory, that is his ability to cultivate the land exceptionally well. There was a bachelor farmer who decided to get married. He ran an ad in one of those dating services. It read, “A young strong handsome man who farms 240 acres wants to meet a country girl who owns a tractor and is willing to get married. Please send a photo of the tractor.”
- Catholic Catechism #460.