I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do. Now glorify me, Father, with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world began. John 17:4–5
Saint Ignatius of Loyola bases his spiritual masterpiece, The Spiritual Exercises, on one basic premise: Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save his soul. This is the essence of what Ignatius calls the “Principle and Foundation” of our lives. In other words, our goal in life is twofold: First, we must seek to give God the greatest glory possible by our lives. And second, the effect of this singular focus is the salvation of our souls.
In the Gospel passage quoted above, Jesus speaks of the fact that He perfectly fulfilled His human life on earth by glorifying the Father in Heaven. He did this by accomplishing the work that the Father gave Him to fulfill.
If you are looking for purpose in your life or if you are trying to discover the meaning of your life, then look no further. Jesus’ words above offer the ideal “principle and foundation” for your life. This message of our Lord could be broken down into three lessons.
First, the Father truly does have a plan for your life. Are you seeking to discover that plan? Knowing that there is a divine plan for your life is the first step in fulfilling it. If you do not know God’s plan, it will be difficult to fulfill it. So do you seek to discern this plan each and every day?
Secondly, when you do discern what God wants of you in your daily life, you must accomplish His will. Sometimes we fall into the trap of trying to fulfill only a portion of what God wants of us. The problem with that approach is that we may actually accomplish “a portion” of God’s will. But that’s not enough. We must aim for perfection. We must strive for the complete fulfillment of the will of God in our lives.
Thirdly, if we can truly accomplish the daily will of God for our lives, then our lives will not only glorify God in every way possible, but we will also be blessed to share in God’s glory. To share in God’s glory is to share in God’s very life. It means that God will be alive in us and we will become partakers of the joys of Heaven. And it will begin here on earth. Why would we settle for earthly “joys” and earthly pleasures when we are called to share in delights that are beyond what we could ever imagine in this world?
Reflect, today, upon Jesus’ act of perfectly fulfilling the will of the Father in His human nature. Even though our Lord was divine, He was also fully human. He, therefore, perfectly understands your human struggles and weaknesses. He knows what you go through, and His humanity is the model for you to follow in life. Reflect upon His human life and the way in which He lived in union with the will of His Father day in and day out. Commit yourself to this unwavering mission of fully accomplishing the will of the Father in your life and you, too, will share in the glory of our Lord.
My glorified Lord, You now share in the full joy and glory of Your Father in Heaven with Your human nature. By doing so, You invite me to not only imitate Your life on earth but to also share in that same glory in Heaven. Give me the grace I need, dear Lord, to accomplish all to which the Father calls me to do. May my life fully imitate You in every way so that I may also share, one day, in Your glory. Jesus, I trust in You.