03 April 2012

Lectio 6


31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, "Now is the Son of man glorified and in him God is glorified; 32 if God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and [will] glorify him at once.
1825 After Judas left to bring about our Lord's death, Jesus mentions that he himself will be leaving for glory. First, to console them, he mentions the glory to which he is going; secondly, he foretells his leaving (v 33).

1826 The glory to which he is going is the glorification and exaltation of Christ insofar as he is the Son of man. When he had gone out, that is Judas, Jesus said, to his disciples, Now is the Son of man glorified, and in him God is glorified. The [Latin] word used was actually "clarified" and not "glorified." But both words mean the same thing. To be clarified, (to be made bright or splendorous, to be displayed and made known) is the same as to be glorified, for glory is a kind of splendor. According to Ambrose, someone has glory when he is known with clarity and praised.[41] And so exegetes translate the Greek word "clarify" as "glorify," and vice versa.

 
We can understand this statement in four ways, by referring it to the four kinds of glory which Christ had: the glory of the cross; the glory of his judicial power; the glory of his resurrection; and the glory of being known by the faith of the people. Scripture attributes this fourfold glory to Christ.
 
1827 First, then, Christ was glorified by being lifted up on the cross. Even Paul said that his own glory was in the cross: "But far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Gal 6:14). This is the glory Chrysostom has in mind in his explanation of the text.[42] In this explanation our Lord mentions four things about the glory of the cross: the glory itself; the fruit of this glory; the author of the glory; and the time of the glory.
 
As to the first [the very glory of the cross] he says, Now is the Son of man glorified. Note that when something is beginning, it seems in a way to already exist. Now when Judas went out to bring back the soldiers, this seems to be the beginning of Christ's passion, the passion by which he was to be glorified. This is why he says, now is the Son of man glorified, that is, the passion by which he will be glorified is now beginning. Indeed, Christ was glorified by the passion of the cross because by it he conquered the enemies of death and the devil: "that through death he might destroy him who has the power of death" (Heb 2:14). Again, he acquired glory because by his cross he joined heaven and earth: "to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross" (Col 1:20). Further, he was glorified by his cross because by it he acquired all kingship. One version of Psalm 95 (v 9) says: "Say to the nations that the Lord has reigned from his cross." Again, Christ was glorified by the cross because he accomplished many miracles on it: the curtain of the temple was split, an earthquake occurred, rocks were split and the sun was darkened, and many saints arose, as Matthew (27:51) states. So with his passion drawing near, these are the reasons why our Lord said, now is the Son of man glorified. It is like saying: now my passion is beginning, the passion which is my glory.
 
The fruit of this glory is that God is glorified by it. So he says, and in him God is glorified, that is, in the glorified Son of man. For the glory of the passion leads to the glory of God. If God was glorified by the death of Peter - "This he said to show by what death he was to glorify God" (21:19) - he was much more glorified by the death of Christ.
 
The author of this glory is not an angel or a human being, but God himself. He says, if God is glorified in him, that is, if his glory is so great that God is glorified by it, he does not need to be glorified by another. But God will also glorify him in himself, that is, through himself: "Father, glorify me"[43] (17:5).
 
The time for this glory is fast approaching, because God will glorify him at once, that is, he will give him the glory of the cross. "For the cross, although it is foolish to the Gentiles and to those who are lost, yet to us who believe, it is the very great wisdom of God and the power of God" (1 Cor 1:18).
 
1828 The second glory of Christ is the glory of his judicial power: "And then they will see the Son of man coming in clouds with great power and glory" (Mk 13:26). This is the glory about which Augustine speaks, as the gloss says.[44] In reference to this, he does four things here: first, he mentions the glory of the judicial power of Christ; secondly, he shows the merit from which he acquired it; thirdly, he expounds on this; fourthly, he shows the source of Christ's glory. As to the first, he says, Now is the Son of man glorified. We should note that in Sacred Scripture, one thing is not explicitly said to signify another, and the word for the signifying thing is also used for the thing signified. For example, we do not read that "The rock signified Christ"; rather, it says, "And the Rock was Christ" (1 Cor 10:4). In the departure of Judas away from the apostles we have a kind of image of the future judgment, when the wicked will be separated from the good, and Christ will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left (Mt 25:33). Since this departure of Judas signified the future judgment, right after this our Lord began to speak of the glory of his judicial power, saying, Now is the Son of man glorified; that is, this departure or separation represents the glory which the Son of man will have in the judgment, where none of the good will perish and none of the evil will be with them. He does not say: "Now is the glorification of the Son of man signified," but rather, Now is the Son of man glorified, in keeping with the above-mentioned custom of Scripture.
 
Now the merit of this glorification is that God would be glorified in him. For God is glorified by those who seek to do his will, and not their own. Christ was like this: "For I have come down from heaven not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me" (6:38). And this is why in him God is glorified. He amplifies on this when he says, if God is glorified in him, that is, if, by doing the will of God, he glorifies God, then rightly God will also glorify him in himself, so that the human nature assumed by the eternal Word will be given an eternal glory. Thus, in himself, that is, in his own glory: "Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name" (Phil 2:9). Therefore the glorification by which God is glorified in Christ is the merit in virtue of which Christ as man is glorified in himself, that is, in the glory of God. This will occur when his human nature, its weakness having been laid down by the death of the cross, receives the glory of immortality at the resurrection. So the resurrection itself was the source from which this glory began. Accordingly he says, and will glorify him at once, at the resurrection, which will quickly come: "I will arise in the morning early" [Ps 108:2]: and also, "You will not let your Holy One see corruption" [Ps 16:10].
 
1829 The third glory of Christ is the glory of his resurrection, about which we read, "We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life" (Rom 6:4). It is in terms of this glory that Hilary explains this passage, and Augustine also in part.[45]
 
From this aspect, Christ first foretells this glory of his, saying, Now is the Son of man glorified. Here he is speaking of the future as if it has already happened, because what we think will quickly happen we regard as good as done. Now the glory of the resurrection was very near, and so he says, Now is the Son of man glorified, as if his body, by its union with the divine nature, had in a way acquired the glory of the divinity.
Secondly, he mentions the cause of this glory quite subtly. As he said, in the resurrection the humanity of Christ was glorified because of its union with the divine nature; and there was one person, that of the Word. For we read: "You will not leave my soul in Sheol; you will not let your holy one," who is the holiest of all, "see corruption" [Ps 16:10]. Such glory is also due to this human being, Christ, in so far as he is God. We too will have the glory of the resurrection to the extent that we share in the divinity: "He who raised Jesus Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit which dwells in you" (Rom 8:11). So he says that the Son of man, that is, Christ considered in his human nature, is glorified, by his resurrection. And who will glorify him? He says, God will also glorify him in himself, so that this human being, Christ, who reigns in the glory which is from the glory of God, may himself pass into the glory of God, that is, might entirely abide in God, as though deified by the way his human nature is possessed. It is like saying: A lamp is bright because a fire is burning brightly within it. That which sends the rays of brightness into the human nature of Christ is God; and thus the human nature of Christ is glorified by the glory of his divinity, and the human nature of Christ is brought into the glory of his divinity, not by having its nature changed, but by a sharing of glory in so far as this human being, Christ, is adored as God: "Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow" (Phil 2:9). So he says, if God is glorified in him, that is, if it is true that the glory of his divinity overflows to the glory of his humanity, subsequently God will also glorify him in himself, give him a share of his own glory by assuming him into that glory: "Every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus is in the glory of the Father" [Phil 2:11].
 
Thus, Christ has a twofold glory. One is in his human nature, but is derived from his divinity. The other is the glory of his divinity, into which his human nature is in a way taken up. But each glory is different. The first-mentioned glory had a beginning in time. For this reason he speaks of it as past, saying, and in him God is, or has been, glorified, on the day of the resurrection. The other glory is eternal, because from eternity the Word of God is God. And the human nature of Christ, assumed into this glory, will be glorified forever. And so he speaks of this as in the future: and will glorify him at once, that is, he will always establish him in that glory forever.
 
1830 The fourth glory of Christ is the glory of being known by the faith of the people. Origen has this kind of glory in mind in his exposition.[46] According to him, glory means one thing in ordinary speech, and another thing in Scripture. In ordinary speech, glory is the praise given by a number of people, or the clear knowledge of someone accompanied by praise, as Ambrose says.[47] While in Scripture, glory indicates that a divine sign or mark is upon one. We read in Exodus [40:34] that "The glory of the Lord appeared over the tabernacle," that is, a divine sign rested over it. The same happened to the face of Moses, when it was glorified. Just as glory, in the physical sense, indicates that a divine sign rests upon one, so, in the spiritual sense, that intellect is said to be glorified when it is so deified and so transcends all material things that it is raised to a knowledge of God. It is by this that we are made sharers of glory: "And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another" (2 Cor 3:18). Therefore, if anyone who knows God is glorified and made a sharer of glory, it is clear that Christ, who knows God most perfectly, since he is the brightness of the entire divine glory (Heb 1:30), and able to receive the splendor of the entire divine glory, if, I say, this is so, then Christ is most perfectly glorified. And all who know God owe this to Christ.
 
But men did not yet realize that Christ was so glorified by this most perfect knowledge and participation in the divinity. And so, although he was glorified in himself, he was not yet glorified in the knowledge of men. He began to have his glory at his passion and resurrection, when men began to recognize his power and divinity. Our Lord, speaking here of this glory, says, Now is the Son of man glorified, that is, now, in his human nature, he is receiving glory in the knowledge of men because of his approaching passion. And in him God, the Father, is glorified. For the Son not only reveals himself, but the Father as well: "[Father] I have manifested thy name" (17:6). Consequently, not only is the Son glorified, but the Father also: "No one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him" (Mt 11:27). He says, in him, because one who sees the Son also sees the Father (14:9).
 
It is characteristic of one who is greater to return what is greater. And thus he adds, if God is glorified in him, that is, if the glory of God the Father somehow increases because of the glory of the Son of man, because the Father becomes better known, God will also glorify him in himself, that is, make it known that Christ Jesus is in his glory. This will not be delayed for he will glorify him at once.