Fifth Sunday of Lent, March 21: Glory, a Sunday Scriptures blog

“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 Jesus drives the lesson home by telling those who heard the voice that he must be “lifted up,” referring to the cross, just as a grain of wheat dies in order to produce fruit. The message of this Gospel is that death is a powerful manifestation of God’s presence. How can we understand this? When I was a chaplain-member of a palliative care team in a large hospital, I met many dying people. I saw their family and friends going through their own process. They were taking in the life of the dying person. As they began to lose the physical manifestation of their loved one, they began touching and internalizing the spirit of that person. They were remembering, sorting out what had been most significant in that life, and being changed themselves as they did that. We are different when we lose someone we have loved. What they have been becomes something new, as it begins to be present not in their time-bound body, but more deeply present in us. They are present in the ways we have taken them in, in the self we are and continue to be through our experience of them. Every dying person is a manifestation of a unique creativity that God unleashed in time and eternity. Choose someone you loved but lost. Remember them today, and perhaps share their glory presence with someone else!

– Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia

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