I will give you glory, O God my King, I will bless your name for ever.
I will bless you day after day and praise your name for ever.
The Lord is great, highly to be praised, his greatness cannot be measured.
Age to age shall proclaim your great works,
shall declare your mighty deeds, shall speak of your splendour and glory, tell the tale of your wonderful works.
They will speak of your terrible deeds, recount your greatness and might. They will recall your abundant goodness; age to age shall ring out your justice.
The Lord is kind and full of compassion, slow to anger, abounding in love. How good is the Lord to all, compassionate to all his creatures.
All your creatures shall thank you, O Lord, and your friends shall repeat their blessing.
They shall speak of the glory of your reign and declare your might, O God.
LITANY OF PRAISE:
The response to our prayers of praise and thanks is:
Glory to you, O God my King!
SCRIPTURE READING: John 5:39-44
You pore over the scriptures, believing that in them you can find eternal life; it is these scriptures that testify to me, and yet you refuse to come to me to receive life! Human glory means nothing to me. Besides, I know you too well: you have no love of God in you. I have come in the name of my Father and you refuse to accept me; if someone else should come in his own name you would accept him. How can you believe, since you look to each other for glory and are not concerned with the glory that comes from the one God? The Gospel of the Lord
REFLECTION: (Henri Nouwen)
I have gradually become aware how central this word – glory – is in John’s Gospel. There is God’s glory, the right glory that leads to life. And there is human glory, the vain glory that leads to death. All through his Gospel John shows how we are tempted to prefer vain glory over the glory that comes from God. Human glory is always connected with some form of competition. Human glory is the result of being considered better, faster, more beautiful, more powerful or more successful than others. Glory conferred by people is glory which results from being favourably compared to other people. The better our scores on the scoreboard of life, the more glory we receive. This glory comes with upward mobility. The higher we climb the ladder of success, the more glory we collect. But this same glory also creates our darkness. Human glory, based on competition, leads to rivalry; rivalry carries within it the beginning of violence; and violence is the way to death. Thus, human glory proves to be vain glory, false glory, mortal glory.
How then do we come to see and receive God’s glory? In his Gospel, John shows that God chose to reveal his glory to us in his humiliation. That is the good, but also disturbing, news. God, in his infinite wisdom, chose to reveal his divinity to us not through competition, but through compassion, that is, through suffering with us. God chose the way of downward mobility. Every time Jesus speaks about being glorified and giving glory, he always refers to his humiliation and death. It is through the way of the cross that Jesus gives glory to God, receives glory from God, and makes God’s glory known to us. The glory of the resurrection can never be separated from the glory of the cross. The risen Lord always shows us his wounds.
Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer
CLOSING PRAYER: (Henri Nouwen)
Lord, how often have I lived through these weeks of Lent without paying much attention to penance, fasting and prayer? How can I really celebrate Easter without observing Lent? How can I rejoice fully in your resurrection when I have avoided participating in your death? Yes, Lord, I have to die – with you, through you, and in you – and thus become ready to recognise you when you appear to me in your resurrection. I see clearly how little I have died with you, really gone your way and been faithful to it. O Lord, make this Lenten season different from the other ones. Let me find you again. Amen.