Tell me this: If you’re standing with your back to a bright sun looking into a mirror angled at the sun, will the light reflected in the mirror – assuming it is a perfect mirror – reflect the same intensity and brightness and warmth as if you were looking directly at the sun?
Now tell me this: If you do what I just described and someone asks you whether the light that blinded you for a few minutes when you foolishly took me up on my little experiment came: (1) from the sun; or (2) from the mirror, what would be your answer?
The answer is both – but the entire source is the sun. In the spiritual life, the answer is the same: the full glory of God is to manifest in and through us as it was and is in Jesus. Our only job is to get every smudge off that reflective soul of ours through repentance and accepting the gift of salvation in Jesus, so it can be that perfect mirror reflecting the fullness of God’s Divine life.
For today’s reflection, I took portions of both the first reading and Gospel, but not the entire readings.
JESUS: THE “LIGHT OF LIFE”
Jesus is the true “Sun,” with a brightness that is the very “light of life.” His brightness does not blind, but makes us see perfectly, bringing the knowledge and wisdom and understanding that is union with God, in the redeeming love bestowed on us by His only Son Jesus who the Father sent into the world not to condemn us, but to save us from sin and death. He did that by giving himself completely and teaching us how imitating Him and obeying His commands would allow Him to bring us to the Father, and thereby becomes also the Way to the Father:
“Once again, Jesus spoke to the people and said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life.” [John 8:12].
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me”. [John 14:6]
We tend to naturally think in material and spatial terms when we consider what it means for us to “come to the Father” by following Jesus the Way. We may be tempted to see ourselves rising in the sky following Jesus in His Ascension then shooting out past the peering eyes of telescopes to some realm where the Father dwells. Chuck that idea and the packaging it came in now please and advance to the next paragraph.
Jesus is in perfect union with the father – to know Jesus is to know the Father:
“I am the gate. If anyone enters through Me, he will be saved. He will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and have it in all its fullness.” [John 10: 9-10].
Even here, we picture ourselves “walking through a gate” when we should be picturing ourselves imitating Jesus, and desiring to be in greater union with Him, doing what He would do in our situation to reflect the perfect love of the Father onto others like a beacon. To “enter through the gate, Jesus” is to unite to and abide in His most sacred Heart, His Divine Will.
We need to keep our attention and desire firmly fixed on what Moses told the people (first reading) was priority #1, always; and what Jesus confirmed remains the essential prerequisite for true spirituality: an authentic and unbounded desire and persevering process holding nothing back for ourselves (i.e, keeping a ‘divided heart,’ which means the possession and reigns over our own, existing within our heart “beside” the Will of God) but giving to God always and at all times without negotiation nor compromise the entirety of our mind, heart, strength, and being to the best of our ability.
If we do that = we become the mirror: we manifest in our being the being and glory of God to others like a mirror reflects the light and warmth of the sun – in any direction it’s pointing.
We become who we were meant to be, reflecting the fullness of life in the light of God in Spirit and Truth, vivifying, animating and empowering us with the creative force of God’s love and very Presence, pouring in and through and out on all creation in union with the Trinity.
But the great marvel and beauty that is yet to be revealed to us, is how we will all manifest the fullness of God’s life in glory with a uniqueness so distinct that it will be astounding to us.
The perfect union we experience in God is no merging where we lose “self” in the “collective” – it is pure freedom and power, absolute autonomy surrendered absolutely in love, an experience of the fullness of life that comes from having no interest in self, and having no power, but simply being, and having unlimited access at all times, at will, to the power of God given to us by Jesus, passed on from the Father, through the Holy Spirit, which we give back in the eternal exchange that is life in God.
To “TELL OF GOD’S GLORY” is to reflect His Goodness and Truth and Freedom of the fullness of the light of Life who is Jesus. The spiritual world within seems murky and dark and we wonder when will truth be vindicated, when will the beatitudes be realized, when will the trillions of requests from the faithful from the day of Pentecost asking the Father (saying the prayer Jesus taught) that His Will be done “on earth as it is in heaven” and those trillions of prayers not be answered?
Time to get real, fill the lamps, and keep some extra soup in the pot:
“Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him—even those who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. So shall it be! Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and was and is to come— the Almighty.
“Jesus, you are the Glory of the Father, and You give that Glory and Power to us with the Father out of pure love, healing us first with your mercy and friendship, and moulding us into who were are in God, the person God formed without sin, and the corruption and death sin brings in its essential “non-essential” nature: i.e. a “withdrawal” from the fullness of life that You and the Father give freely in bestowing Your most Holy Spirit upon us.
Father, give us this day the Glory you give the Son in the same measure we give Glory to you by reflecting, like your Son Jesus, your perfect love for us.” Amen.