Gazing

 In Reflections

As I sat in the quiet of the early morning, pondering the events of this past week, a phrase from scripture came to me

‘All of us, gazing with unveiled face on the glory of the Lord are being transformed into the same image’ (2 Corinthians 3:18)

Coming through the past week of bombing in Boston, explosion in West, an earthquake in China, floods, death and destruction, truly the veil has been removed and we gaze speechless in relationship to all of it.

I listen as people run – terrified of what might happen next or what might happen to them. So many want to do something to regain a sense of security or control. I listen as others want to ‘get back to normal’ and yet not knowing what the ‘new normal’ might be. How do we put back the veils that kept us safe? How does this ‘unveiling’ enable us to gaze at the glory of God at such a time as this?

Teilhard de Chardin described a mystic as a ‘supreme realist’. By that I think he means one whose face has been unveiled. These are people who see life as it is with all its darkness and light.

So what do we see when we gaze at the glory of God? We see a fragile world – a world that cries out in pain and cries out in beauty. We see people whose lives are changed forever through events they could never have anticipated and we see people step out of their comfort zones to respond to the needs of strangers. We see people lonely, afraid, declining in health and wealth while also seeing people rushing to protect the elderly in a nursing home.

Life is such a paradox. With unveiled faces we see that the ‘glory of God is the human person fully alive’ (attributed to St. Irenaeus). This week we have gazed on the glory of the Lord and in this gaze each one of us has been transformed. My hope and prayer is that each of us will recognize this transformation and live our lives with new vision, deeper connections and contemplative awareness.

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