Outbreaks of Glory (Isaiah 49:3)

by | Jan 11, 2023 | Formation, Reflections | 1 comment

Every once in a while when reading the Scriptures, something lights up, jumps out into the present time and place. A line in Isaiah did that, opened me to something that because of its very obviousness is easy to miss. And that is, the significance in these words of Yahweh,  “You are the ones through whom I show my glory.”

What is this glory the prophet mentions? The short answer is God’s own Self, God’s presence — all those giveaway signals of the Divine nearness, the manifold openings to God’s proximity in the here and now.

One obvious location of our Creator God is in the Divine creation, the power and astonishments of the world around us as well as the threats to its beauty and bounty. Pope Francis has been especially insistent — and graphic — in portraying the hand of God as it shows itself in the natural world.

But Isaiah’s words locate God’s glory in a place still closer to home; that is, within the lived experience of everyone of us. Yahweh declares, “You, my people, are the ones through whom I show my glory.”  Or to paraphrase, “You are the windows through whom I radiate my light. It is through you, my people, that I come to this world, am carried there by your actions and attitudes. My all abounding light shines through all your little lights, especially in the generous choices you make and the good will you show toward each other.

Searching for flickers of God’s glory in human living, can we recall instances where we saw it appear, where we witnessed something of it. Things like a reassuring word given at the instant it was needed, a forgotten truth spoken courageously which cut through a surrounding darkness, a selflessness on someone’s part that stretched beyond what we took to be the individual’s capacity.

Isaiah is telling us to open our eyes to God’s varied appearances in the course of a human life. For sure, events in the biographies of those we know as the Saints have shone out that divine glory. But more commonly, little and big things in our everyday interactions do the same if we have the eyes to spot them. Goodness, the right kind of sacrifice, perseverance, forgiveness, thoughts and actions that inspire, beauty that lasts — all these and more radiate the divine presence.

We return to God’s utterance spoken through His prophet Isaiah, “You, my people, are the ones through whom I show my glory.” You are the ones who shine out my light. You are personal presences through whom my very own Self touches down into this world.”

A sentence, simple enough, but packed  with meaning for all of us and especially all of us who would follow behind Vincent: “You, my people, are the ones through whom I show my glory.”

1 Comment

  1. nieva manzano

    thank you, Fr. Makenna for the enlightenmenbless

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