Readings for March 17, 2019
Second Sunday of Lent
Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18
“And the Word became flesh and he dwelt among us, and we saw his glory!” (John 1:14) As one who went with Jesus to the mountain and witnessed his transfiguration, John can be considered something of an expert on seeing Jesus’ glory. I envy him this. Life can be stressful and disheartening at times, and sometimes I can’t help but to think how much simpler all of this would feel if I had stood in Jesus’ presence for even one moment, or even had the blessed honor to see him in all his glory on the mountain.
Upon reflection however, I have found that there are many ways that I can seek and experience Jesus’ glory, even today. Importantly, it makes sense to seek to experience Jesus’ glory in the Church. The Psalm says to seek the goodness of the Lord “in the land of the living.” Traditionally, that has been a reference to the Temple. This particularly appeals to me as someone who longs to stand in the presence of God, because as a Catholic I believe that I am able to do so when I am with the Eucharist. Also, the prayers, the scripture readings and the biblically-based rituals allow me to reflect on, and experience God’s glory.
Some also find this feeling in the wonders of nature. A spectacular sunset, an amazing rainbow, or the beauty of a waterfall can all conjure a feeling of awe that makes one feel as if they are connecting with the power and beauty of God. I know my wife and I are often the first to take out our phones at the sight of a beautiful sunset or rainbow, and many have been captivated and changed by the sight of such natural phenomenons.
We should also find a similar awe and influence in the power and beauty of our brothers and sisters. After all “God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27) We should see the glory of God and the manifestation of His Word through Christ within and from those around us. A gentle smile, a helping hand, a kind gesture, all are glimpses of the glory of God.
Whatever way we may choose to seek God’s glory, turning inward to seek it is likely not where we should begin, or end, our search. We grow the most in our faith when we are willing to learn and to look beyond ourselves. So wherever I may seek Jesus’ glory, the important thing is to seek it. And maybe to seek it somewhere where I usually wouldn’t.
Then, in the many ways we can find God’s glory on this Earth, I know of only one way to send it back out. I need to treat others as if the glory of God is bursting from within me. If the people we meet have the Lord in their hearts–which we do as His created beings, whether we put our faith in that love or not–we need to treat them as such, giving glory to God for their gifts and praising God for putting those people in our lives.
The bottom line is this: if we believe that Christ lives within our hearts, we ought to show it. We need to live it. If we believe “he will change our lowly body to conform with his glorified body,” then let the glory light up a room. Be Christ to others. Let others be Christ to you. I believe I shall see the goodness of the Lord while I am in the land of the living.
Lord Jesus, thank you for your unending love and for showing us your unsurpassed glory. Be with me as I live my daily life and show me your glory through those I encounter every day. Bless them as you have me so that together we may be your glory here on earth. Amen