“Glory” is a visible manifestation of God’s presence revealed to us. In today’s Gospel, when Jesus prays, “Father, glorify your name,” a voice from heaven thunders, “I have glorified it and will glorify it again.” The context is Jesus’ impending passion, and John Evangelist has Jesus drive the lesson home as he tells his listeners that he must be “lifted up” just as a grain of wheat dies in order to produce fruit. Death, then, is a manifestation of God’s presence. How can we understand this? Weekly I meet dying people in the hospital where I volunteer as a chaplain. I see that their family and friends are going through their own process. They are taking in the life of the dying person. As they begin to lose the physical manifestation of their loved one, they begin touching and internalizing the spirit of that person, remembering, sorting out what has been most significant, and being changed by that process. We are different when we lose someone we have loved. What they have been is becoming something new as it begins to be present not in the body but in the community of the “beloved disciples,” in us. Every dying person is a manifestation of the creativity that God has unleashed in time and eternity.
– Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia