From Fr. Nick Kotsis - Glory to the Holy, Consubstantial, Life-Giving and Undivided Trinity, always now and forever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
One of the important things to remember about the Gospel according to St. John (and there are many) is that about half of the entire account relates the words and actions of Christ specifically from the time He raised Lazaros from the dead until His own death. From Chapter 10 (the “prelude” to the raising of Lazaros) through Chapter 19, St. John recounts the actions and words of Christ that form the basis for the Church’s understanding of the relationship of Christ to the Father, the relationships of the Persons of the Holy Trinity, and the reason behind His earthly work.
The Gospel lesson from the Bridegroom Service of Holy Tuesday night reflects these ideas (the first Gospel lesson from the Holy Thursday is paramount towards these understandings). In particular, we hear tonight:
“Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour?’ But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came from Heaven, saying, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.”
So much is offered in these lines. We see a certain anxiety that Jesus has knowing what He is about to face. We see His human strength and courage as He meets that anxiety with the knowledge of God’s plan for salvation. We see that all the His ministry that Jesus had offered in the prior three years was to reach its apex in the passion and crucifixion in that His blood becomes the payment for all of our sins – once and for all. And we see His will in perfect concert with the Father’s plan to save us as He calls for God’s name to be glorified.
When the voice came from heaven, the people thought that it had thundered or that an angel had spoken to Jesus (often what happens scripturally when God speaks from Heaven). When we reflect carefully on those words, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again,” we understand incredible facts. The name of God was glorified through Christ in all of creation at the beginning. The name of God was glorified as Abraham accepted faith in the Lord. The name of God was glorified when Moses lead the people out of Egypt. The name of God was glorified when the prophets spoke. The name of God is glorified through every act and word of Christ in the New Covenant. And to this day, we Orthodox Christians continue to glorify God at all times and in all places.
All the suffering, injustice, anguish and pain Christ endured was overcome through His resurrection. The light of God’s glory burst forth from the tomb upon Christ’s Resurrection. And the light of God’s glory will shine for all of us in a few short days when the light of Christ is brought out to “Come receive the Light…”
The Light of Christ will never be extinguished, even if we must partake of it in an unusual way this year! And as the Father glorifies the Son, we all participate in that glory because of His love for us.
After the Gospel lesson during the Resurrection Service, and before we sing, “Christ is Risen…”, the priest proclaims loudly: Glory to the Holy, Consubstantial, Life-Giving and Undivided Trinity, always now and forever, and to the ages of ages. Amen. This is also proclaimed at every Orthros service. What is going on in this proclamation? The words of the Father to Christ, as St. John bore witness, are again recognized: that the name of our God is glorified!
And throughout the world, early Sunday morning, all Orthodox Churches, despite the current situation, will glorify the name of God and the Risen Christ! Amen! Amen! Amen!