Jesus makes it crystal in today’s gospel from John that he has not come to do his own thing but to do the will of the One who sent him: the Father. It’s not about him but his obedience to what the Father wanted him to accomplish: our salvation. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus knew the cross was waiting for him; with heavy heart he prayed to the Father to take this “cup” of suffering away, but only if this be his will. Jesus surrendered to the plan of the Father to accept the fate of the cross. “Thy will be done.”
Everything about the life of Jesus points to his deep humility in following the way of the Father. Our mission is no less than Christ’s: we are called through our baptism to follow the way God has planned our lives to unfold. We pray daily, we worship weekly to be open to what God wants us to do with our lives. Parents raise their children to be able to discover their purpose in life, which is accepting our identity as disciples of Jesus, with inner gifts and talents to be used to point AWAY from one’s self and ego and into a life of service to a higher cause.
In following God’s will for us, we experience the “praise that comes only from God.” In seeking human praise, we are bound to get off track in life, surrendering to the temptation to make ourselves into a god, created in our own image. Or we create “molten calves” that we worship. Molten calves come in many shapes and sizes: money, external beauty, power and control. These only lead to empty lives of desperation and alienation.
How can you give God the glory? How can you praise our God? Only by being selfLESS and surrendering to God’s plan for you, that will inevitably lead to the cross, which then leads to Resurrection.