This morning a haze veils the full blaze of the sun’s glory as it rises over the lake. Usually I must shade my eyes as soon as it peeks over the horizon, but not today. I suspect it’s the ozone layer. The still air thickens into pollution and dims the brightness of the sun.
God veils the full brilliance of his being so that we can get a glimpse of his holiness. He hides it in a hazy sunrise, the laughter of a child, and the radiance in the face of a saintly friend. This haze reminds me that we aren’t meant to see God face to face until eternity. Our human limitations prevent this, for
Now we are seeing a dim reflection in a mirror; but then we shall be seeing face to face. 1 Corinthians 13:12a; Jerusalem Bible
To show us a hint of His glory, God reveals Himself to us in obscure and mysterious ways so that we can behold His splendor within our limited human capacity. He wants to become a part of us so much that He miraculously offers Himself to us is in the Eucharist. He humbly conceals Himself in this everyday provision of bread and wine, the sustenance of eternity. What a costly gift He gives us in His true presence so modestly contained in his body, blood, soul, and divinity. Like the blazing sun shrouded behind the haze, the Lord veils Himself in the consecrated host and wine so His full glory won’t blind us.
We see Him in the familiar form of food. We take this gift of His very life and absorb it into our bodies. Even though our broken humanity can never fully recognize His dazzling splendor, His transforming joy is still there like the sun beneath a layer of ozone.
Under the veil
The sunrise will always be there, whether or not we are awake to enjoy it. Whether a fiery blaze or barely a glint of light clothed in thunderclouds and framed with lightning, its brilliance persists. Our life experience assures us of its luster when dark clouds prevail. So it is with the Eucharist. We know He is there under the veil.
And so it is with us. When our souls are tarnished, despondent, devoid of joy, we retreat under a kind of ozone layer. This barrier separating us from the fullness of God’s love doesn’t come from heaven but from the earth, from us. We are in a fog, numb to the reality of who God is to us and who we are in Him. Our disordered humanness prevents us from knowing ourselves the way He knows us.
The knowledge that I have now is imperfect; but then I shall know as fully as I am known. 1 Corinthians 13:12b; Jerusalem Bible
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Joy hides in the Eucharist
Still, our faith confirms in our hearts that nothing that happens to us can destroy God’s love for us. Nothing can dampen His desire to bring us his life-giving joy. That joy is waiting for us to discover, hidden in the Eucharist He offers to us.
Sacramental grace flows from His heart to ours to enliven and empower us if it can just penetrate that haze covering our hearts. The Lord wants to penetrate those man-made ozone layers in our lives.
How can God’s grace break through so that you can experience more of His life-giving joy?
Copyright 2018 Nancy HC Ward