Matins Lesson for the Vigil of the Ascension
Our Lord, the only-begotten and co-eternal Son of the Father, could have prayed silently (if need were) in the form of a servant ; but he willed to shew himself as thus praying to the Father, that we might remember him as our teacher. Thus he made known unto us the prayer which he made for us. For he was so great a Master that, not only his discourse to them, but his prayer to the Father for them, is an edification for his disciples. And it was so for them who were there to hear, truly it is so for us also, for whose instruction it hath been written down.
Wherefore, by these words: Father, the hour is come ; glorify thy Son : he sheweth that every occasion, whereon he hath done anything, or alloweth anything to be done, and the season wherein he did it or allowed it, and even the time itself, is alike ordained of him, who is himself not subject to time. Yea, all things which were then to come, or are yet to come now, have the reason why they should be, in the Wisdom of God, which is itself independent of all time. The hour is come. We must not believe that that hour was brought on by the march of destiny, but was by the ordination of God. No stars decreed irresistibly that the time was come for Christ to suffer, for God forbid that the revolutions of his planets should force death on him who made them.
Some think that the glorification of the Son by the Father was this, that he spared him not, but delivered him up for us all. But if we say that he was glorified by suffering how much more shall we say that he was glorified by rising again? While he suffered, his humbleness was the more manifested than his glory, as saith the Apostle : He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Then he addeth, concerning glorification : Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a Name which is above every name, that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth ; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. This is the glorification of our Lord Jesus Christ, that glorification whose first rays began to dawn on the resurrection morning.