In driving to Galena I pass by a barn with a message emblazoned in large, white letters: “ TO GOD BE THE GLORY.” This message had been on the roof if this barn in all the years I have passed by in my car. It’s a reminder of a beautiful truth, rooted in faith and Scripture, that only God be glorified.
In the gospel, the mother of James and John wants her sons to sit in places of glory and power in the Kingdom. Jesus makes it clear that where one is seated in the Kingdom is determined by the Father. Instead of being concerned with paths of glory, we are to walk on paths of selfless service. This will mean accepting the”chalice” of the suffering that comes to every disciple by virtue of living the Beatitudes, loving especially one’s enemy, standing up for justice.
We only give Glory to God, the Source and Foundation of our very lives. Too often we give the glory to money, fame, celebrity, and worst of all, when we relish in receiving glory ourselves, making elevating the ego to epic proportions. This always leads to a life of dissipation and emptiness.
When we give God the glory, our hearts are flooded with gratitude and joyful humility. The two brothers, James and John DID drink from the chalice by sacrificing their lives for their faith in Christ. James was the first Apostle to be martyred. They gave the glory to God. It will be interesting to see where they are seated in the Kingdom, if it even matters.