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  • Writer's pictureImmersed in Christ

The Glory of God

Monday, July 24, 2023

by Fr. David M. Knight


View readings for 16th Monday of Ordinary Time (A1): https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings LECTIONARY 395 (Ex 14: 5-18;Ex 15: 1-2, 3-4, 5-6; Mt 12: 38-42) The Responsorial Verse invites us, “Sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory” (Exodus 15:1). What is God’s glory? Where do we see it?

The Hebrew word for glory, unlike ours, does not speak of fame, but of actual value. God’s “glory” is God himself revealing his power and holiness, the majesty and dynamism of his being. What reveals the glory of God to us? In Exodus 14: 5-18, when the people saw the Egyptians coming in pursuit, in their fright they thought God had betrayed them. This is the temptation we all feel when pain is unbearable. Where is God? Why does he let this happen? For countless [Vietnam] veterans that same question remains unanswered. They… are convinced that God failed them at their moment of greatest need…. [They] had been led to believe that God would never let them down, that he would always lead them to victory over evil and preserve them in battle…. They feel terribly betrayed to this day. (Out of the Night, Mahedy, Ballantine, 1986.) In the Exodus story, God did reveal his glory through victory. This was fairly typical in the Old Testament. God revealed himself in terms people could understand. But with Jesus all this changed. Difficult as it is for us to accept, Jesus does not promise to save us from suffering — just to save us through it when it happens, so that nothing can truly harm us. Like Jesus, we and all we love will rise to glory. This is what we celebrate in the Eucharistic Prayer at Mass. Can we accept a savior who saves us this way? (See Luke 21: 16-19.) In Matthew 12: 38-42 Jesus tells the Pharisees the only “sign” he will give to reveal his glory to them is the “sign of Jonah,” his death and resurrection. The great scandal to both Jews and Christians, then and now, is that God apparently abandoned his Son to his enemies. Not until Jesus’ resurrection did they see his glory, but it was already fully present in his sacrificial death — a sign for those who have eyes to see. It is visible in the same way at Mass. The sign of Jesus’ resurrection today is his life visibly evident on earth in the members of his risen body, the Church. In the measure that our actions cannot be explained without grace, the presence of Jesus’ own divine life in us, we are the “sign of Jonah.” This is what “glorifies” Jesus. The glory of God appears in our ministry when through our visible expression of divine faith, hope and love we make visible Jesus risen, alive, and using his power now to save people by working in and through us, his risen body on earth. “Let us sing to the Lord”: he is covering himself in glory now — through our ministry. (See John 15:8; 17:10.) In the host at Mass Christ is present simultaneously as crucified, risen and returning in glory. These are all one moment in God’s time, though separated in the liturgy into three “elevations” which focus successively on “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.” But as Christ’s resurrection was present in his death and his return in his ascension, all are present together in the Mass.

Initiative: Be a priest. Glorify God by letting his life express itself in you.


Reflections brought to you by the Immersed in Christ Ministry




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