Today’s Gospel lesson speaks of glory and love. As always, the Gospel is 180° different from “the way of the world.” Glory and love are abused in speech. In A lice in W onderland, one book I will always have on my shelf (The Annotated Alice is best), Humpty Dumpty tells us that words can be used to mean any way the speaker wants. Glory, for example, can mean a “nice knock- down argument.” Love is often defined according to a speaker’s whim.
In today’s Gospel, try substituting “love” for “glory.” For example: “Now is the Son of man loved, and God is loved in him.” It works; kinda! Meditate on this re-write; “As I have glorified you, so you also should glorify one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, glorify one another.” The Christian’s glory is to love one another as Jesus loved. Jesus is glorified by the love his disciples give to one another. By the act of glorifying another, you turn away from selfish motives and serve the other. The other becomes so important that the halo is on his/her head and not that of the speaker.
Jesus’ new command is to love. Love, as service, is the only act that will make life worth living. But love costs; it takes trust. And the deeper the trust the deeper the risk, the deeper the risk, the more profound the love and joy.
Today Jesus also tells his disciples that the glory of love is tied up with the crucifixion. That’s the meaning of every crucifix; a life all used up and poured out in love which gives glory to Our Heavenly Father. The road to glory is love’s road.
When you are commanded at the conclusion of Mass to: “Go and glorify the Lord by the way you live your life” - how do you fulfill the command of the Savior and give glory to God?
Bishop Kevin Vann will Confirm eighty-one members of our community tomorrow, Monday, May 20th. Together let us all pray that they receive a new experience of Jesus ever present in the sacrament. Pray with me that their faith formation will continue to grow strong in their lives. May they have the good example of the St. Juliana Community to give them courage to live their lives with an understanding of our faith; may they defend and be defined by their knowledge of our faith and a prayer life that draws them more deeply into a relationship with Jesus. May they serve Christ in our community. May they glorify God by the way they live their lives!
I am sad to tell you that Mr. Taylor Engel, who has been the coordinator of our Confirmation program, is leaving us to teach full time at Santa Margarita Catholic High School. I have enjoyed my interactions with him, I hope you have as well. Together we have had lively discussions of theological issues and how to best pass on the faith. I’m confident he will be a fine classroom teacher. Taylor, thanks for all you have done for the St. Juliana Community. God bless!
Ms. Beth Gomez and Mr. Gerrick Gamboa have been hired to take Taylor’s place. Beth will be part-time and Gerrick the main coordinator. Beth is just graduated from Cal State Fullerton where she was an active member of Titan Catholics and FOCUS. Gerrick has been ministering at St. Hedwig Parish in Los Alamitos. After two rounds of interviews, a small group of us thought a team approach to guide the candidates would be the best. Beth and Gerrick, thank you for accepting our offer - welcome to the St. Juliana Falconieri Community.