Dear brothers and sisters, buongiorno!

Today, fifth Sunday of Lent, as we draw closer to Holy Week, Jesus in the Gospel (cf. Jn 12:20-33) tells us something important: that on the Cross we will see His glory and that of the Father (cf. vv. 23, 28).

But how is it possible that the glory of God manifest itself right there, on the Cross? One would think it happened in the Resurrection, not on the Cross, which is a defeat, a failure. Instead, today, talking about His Passion, Jesus says: “The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified” (v. 23). What does He mean?

He means that glory, for God, does not correspond to human success, fame and popularity; glory, for God, has nothing self-referential about it, it is not a grandiose manifestation of power to be followed by public applause. For God, glory is to love to the point of giving one’s life. Glorification, for Him, means giving Himself, making Himself accessible, offering His love. And this reached its culmination on the Cross, right there, where Jesus outspread God’s love to the maximum, fully revealing the face of mercy, giving us life and forgiving his crucifiers.

Brothers and sisters, from the Cross, the “cathedra of God”, the Lord teaches us that true glory, that which never fades and makes us happy, is made up of giving and forgiveness. Giving and forgiveness are the essence of the glory of God. And for us, they are the way of life. Giving and forgiveness: very different criteria to what we see around us, and also within us, when we think of glory as something to receive rather than to give; something to possess instead of something to offer. No, worldly glory fades, and does not leave joy in the heart; it does not even lead to the good of all, but rather to division, discord, and envy.

And so, we can ask ourselves: what is the glory I desire for myself, for my life, that I dream of for my future? That of impressing others with my prowess, my abilities, or the things I possess? Or the path of giving and forgiveness, that of the Crucified Jesus, the way of those who never tire of loving, confident that this bears witness to God in the world and makes the beauty of life shine? What kind of glory do I want for myself? Indeed, let us remember that when we give and forgive, God’s glory shines in us. Right there: when we give and forgive.

May the Virgin Mary, who followed Jesus faithfully at the hour of His Passion, help us be living reflections of the love of Jesus.