In response to those who skeptically ask him who he thinks he is, Jesus talks about glory. He tells them that he does not glorify himself, but it is, in fact, his Father who glorifies him.

What does it mean to glorify?

At Sunday Mass (except during certain liturgical seasons), we pray the Gloria, echoing the angels at the birth of Christ: “Glory to God in the highest… We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you…” What are we even saying?

“The glory of the Lord” means God Himself as He is revealed in His majesty, power, and holiness. In the Old Testament, He expresses His glory in mighty deeds and by speaking to Abraham, Moses, and the prophets. In the New Testament, glory also means a manifestation of the Divine – majesty, truth, goodness, etc. – as seen in Jesus, the Incarnate Word.

The glory of God consists in the way His perfection and power are manifested and His love and goodness are communicated by creating. God creates with a purpose; creation has a destiny. What is our destiny? What are we created for? Himself. God created us for Himself. From His infinity, God gives life, and from His fullness we have all received. We (and the world) are created to the praise of his glorious grace (Eph. 1:5-6). “The ultimate purpose of creation is that God ‘who is the creator of all things, may at last become all in all, thus assuring his own glory and our beatitude” (CCC, 294).

All creation reflects the wisdom and perfection of God just by being; a flower blooms, a lion roars, waves beat against the rocks, all glorifying God. Among all the myriad beauties of creation, humans are the only creatures who can praise God’s glory by consciously acknowledging His goodness and love. We are the great “Amen” of creation. And then, we can share in God’s glory by this “Amen,” by acknowledging the divine goodness, praising Him for Who He is, and acting accordingly!

Jesus makes clear that he has brought glory to the Father by finishing the work he was given to do: “I glorified You on earth, having accomplished the work which You gave me to do; and now, Father, glorify me in Your own presence with the glory which I had with You before the world was made” (John 17:4–5).

God has made us for Himself, and our glory is found in glorifying Him because by worshipping Him as our highest treasure, we become the best we can be and help heal the rupture of sin in the world. When we live the way God created us to live and acknowledge His glory, we in turn are glorified by Him!

And so, when we at last sing the Gloria again at Mass this Easter, let’s sing it with our whole being: “We praise You, we bless You, we adore You, we glorify You! We give You thanks for Your great glory!”

Contact the author

Kathryn Mulderink, MA, is married to Robert, Station Manager for Holy Family Radio. Together they have seven children (including Father Rob), and four grandchildren. She is President of the local community of Secular Discalced Carmelites and has published five books and many articles. Over the last 30 years, she has worked as a teacher, headmistress, catechist, Pastoral Associate, and DRE, and as a writer and voice talent for Catholic Radio. Currently, she serves the Church by writing and speaking, and by collaborating with various parishes and to lead others to encounter Christ and engage their faith. Her website is

Feature Image Credit: Luis Ca,