“Now has the Son of Man been glorified, and God has been glorified in him.” What has just happened that Jesus should talk this way? These words which open today’s Gospel place us back on Holy Thursday, after the Last Supper, and immediately after Judas’s departure. In both of these things his Passion is already present. The betrayal of Judas sets in motion Jesus’s death but it is the love of God driving him to make of himself an offering for our salvation which is the true cause. This love has already been manifested in a hidden way in the Eucharist, and its full manifestation at the Cross constitutes his and the Father’s glorification. Death on a Cross would appear to be the very opposite of glorious, but if glory ultimately has to do with manifestation, then the Cross is truly the place where the Father and the Son will be glorified. In the Son’s complete offering of himself the Father’s true face will at last be fully revealed. We now know who God is: the one who loved the world this much. “From this time forward” Jesus will say a little later this same night, “you have both seen and known the Father”. But the glorification that the Cross represents is not complete without the Resurrection. This is what Jesus alludes to when he speaks of the Father in turn glorifying the Son in himself. The Father is glorified at the Cross only if we can identify Jesus with God: it is at the Resurrection, which is Jesus’s glorification in the Father, that this becomes truly evident to the disciples. In this Easter light we look back at the Cross, and all of Jesus’s life, and now can see, through his humanity, the glory of God humbling itself out of love to lift us up.
In Jesus’s last words he speaks of another kind of glory, of manifestation, without which the first two could have no effect in the world. The truth which shines forth in the Death and Resurrection of Christ, and which alone has power to save, can only reach the world through our witness, and this witness is primarily a question of the love we have for one another, a love like His. Only through this will people be able to touch the redeeming love of God: without it this truth of all truths will only seem so many empty words. Let us set no limits to this love in our lives. So much is at stake, so much to be won for the world by the witness we give!