Grace to you!
Watching parents gaze on the face of their newborn baby conveys a mood of aesthetic elation. Even for the most straight-faced parents, the excitement of having a new babe is as loud as cymbals. "She looks like me." "Not really, she looks more like me." Dad and mom cue back and forth as if a better semblance means more share of the joyous moment.
There is a proverb from my native Igbo language that says, "To have seen the child is to have seen the parent." How true. The child is truly the "glory" of his or her parents because the child reveals the signature of both parents’ genetics.
Consider being born of God, a birth that is of Spirit because God is Spirit. Consider also being “deified” in such a way that the perfection you long for is in some measure born within you. Such would be a splendor, glowing all over you. Won’t it?
When God gave us the law and spoke through the prophets, God was preparing us through the Word in text for the glory to come. As the Word of God, Christ himself came among us, we see the fullness of that glory.
And if Jesus Christ dwells in us through the power of his spirit granting us new life (2 Cor 3:6), we realize a new code is configured in our mortal body, the seed of eternal life. We can then move from one degree of glory, the imperfect, to another, Christ Himself, the perfect glory, who is Spirit (2 Cor 3:18).
The splendor of believers is Christ. The permanent splendor of the human race is Christ (2 Cor 3: 10-11). To be born of Christ and live the life of Christ is to be in splendor. It's this splendor that theologians call the ultimate beauty.
Hence, when people see us, they see the glory because to have seen the true believer is to have noticed that face of Christ in whom he or she is born. Isn’t the Christian’s call to be like Christ, and live the life of Christ? Isn’t this life our salvation? Now I know why the first systematic Church theologian Saint Irenaeus said, "The glory of God is living man."
A question for us to ponder: "Do people see Christ in me, my words and actions and/or inactions?"
We are God's glory. Let the splendor shine. Could it be why Jesus reminds the believers that our righteousness must exceed those who have not received the full splendor, the fulfillment of the law and the prophets? (Mtt 5:17-20)
Those begotten of God must therefore show the splendor of truth, the splendor of goodness and beauty, which should set the precedence for the world. If the world needs heavenly splendor, should they not be able to find in the life of those who claim to be believers the mirror of that splendor?
Lord, make us your true mirrors on earth so that in seeing our good works, many will glorify your name. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Wednesday Ordinary Time Week 10: Readings: 2 Cor 3:4-11; Mtt 5:17-19]
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.