Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory (Rev. 22: 16; Jn 17: 20-26)

by | Jun 1, 2022 | Formation, Reflections | 1 comment

The word Glory shows up frequently in the Scriptures, all those praises of God’s Glory and in particular Jesus’ petitions to His Father asking to give the disciples (and all of us) the Glory that the Father has given Him. There are also “the cousins” of Glory, like that bright morning star in the Book of Revelation and indeed the glow from the Star hovering over Bethlehem. What is being communicated through this recurring image, especially in the gospels?

One obvious meaning is brightness, light. There’s darkness all around, whether the shadows of confusion, or fear, or depression, or discouragement, or persecution, or injustice. Glory makes its entrance, and the darkness is pushed back. The light, which is God’s own Self, illuminates the scene and brightens the horizon so things can be appreciated for what they most authentically are.

This metaphor aims at getting to the true heart of things. Glory exposes falsehood and undercuts the lie; it unlocks the essence of things.  When truth is uncovered and situations seen for their true selves, there God’s Glory is shining through. We glorify God when we take in things as they really are, and not cloud them over for less than loving reasons.

When Glory makes its appearance, generosity, love and selflessness seep onto the scene. Just as the Father loves Him, Jesus affirms, so does He love us.  “I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may see the Glory that you gave me.” (Jn. 17: 24)

When we see love acted out in any form, one person putting another’s welfare uppermost in intent and act, right there does God’s glory break through.

We glorify God in the care we take for the suffering — like those Texas families now in deep mourning for their children, or those harried uprooted refugees in the Ukraine.

Glory is the weight and the presence of God, the divine influence radiating out into this world, the shining-out of God’s own Self into daily life. As that Civil War hymn would have it, “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of The Lord.” When truth is being upheld, when people go out of themselves to help the neighbor, when justice is served, there God’s glory blazes out.

For his part, St. Vincent frequently connects glory with the practice of virtue. “Simplicity, which consists in doing everything for love of God and having no other aim in all our actions but His Glory.” Humility… always says, ‘Honor and Glory to God alone, who is the Being of Beings.” (Common Rules, Chapter 2, Art. 14)

And most especially does this divine presence begin to glow as worshippers share in the Eucharist, the pouring out of God’s very own Self for us through Jesus’ life, death and Resurrection.

We proclaim and would enact the prayer, “To God be the glory!” May the truth and love which is God’s very own Self shine out through God’s people into all the shadows of this earth.

1 Comment

  1. Joe Bellacosa

    Glory Be, 😊🙏 Fr. Tom,
    The Jesuits have their renowned inscription:
    Ad Majorem Dei GLORIAM. Do the Vincentian Freres have something comparable?
    Blessed June & Summer

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