You are my servant, Israel,
through whom I show my glory.
Isaiah 49: 3
How do I manifest the glory of God?
How do I, in my daily life, show God’s glory?
There is a temptation to think that one can best show the glory of God by grand spectacles, by spectacular deeds, by lives that make people look on in admiration.
But, Jesus is manifested not as a Lion, but as the Lamb of God. As Jean Vanier notes, “We are called to be gentle followers of the Lamb, not people of power.”
But what is the glory of God?
St. Irenaeus put it succinctly:
The glory of God is the human person fully alive, and to be alive consists in beholding God.
Martyred Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero added:
Gloria Dei, vivens pauper.
The glory of God is the poor person fully alive.
When a person is fully alive God shines through. The person lives as a child of God – a person who is be loved as we love God. The human person fully alive lives with dignity.
That means that we must love and respect that person – and, better, accompany that person in the path of life and love.
In my ministry that means letting my presence, my accompaniment, be a means by which the people can see their dignity, their capabilities, their relationship with a loving God.
In speaking of catechists in Evangelii Gaudium, ¶164, Pope Francis put it well:
the first proclamation must ring out over and over: “Jesus Christ loves you; he gave his life to save you; and now he is living at your side every day to enlighten, strengthen and free you.”
We are called to manifest that love of God, especially for the poor, in our lives.
Recently I finished Eloi Leclerc’s The Wisdom of the Poor One of Assisi. At the end of this fictional account, he has St. Francis say these words to Brother Tancred:
“Can’t you see, Brother, that to evangelize a person is to say to that one: ‘You─yes, you too are loved by God in the Lord Jesus.’
“And you must not only tell that person so, but you must really believe it, and not only believe it, but conduct yourself with this person in such a way that this person can feel and discover there is something within that is being redeemed, something more majestic and noble than had ever been dreamed.”
How can I show the glory of God in my life so that the poor discover that power of God, that grace of God – in their personal lives and in their lives as community – that shows forth redemption, life, and love?