This is a blog that I post to several times a week although not necessarily daily. These reflections are triggered by the scripture found in the lectionary used by many Christian denominations. While I am part of the Catholic tradition, these posts are not --or rarely--sectarian. I try to put myself in the space of a of Jesus Christ and listen to words that come to me as I read and pray the scriptures. Each post also includes a photograph. These rarely have any connection to the content of the post but are simply pleasing images that I capture as I make my pilgrimage through life.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

A reflection on a reflection

Taliesin West
They will look upon his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.  Night will be no more, nor will they need light from lamp or sun, for the Lord God shall give them light, and they shall reign forever and ever.  Revelation 22:4-5
These words from the closing verses of the book of Revelation are a summary of the vocation of those who seek to follow Jesus and his teachings about a way of life.  In ancient times the forehead was the site of intelligence and insight.  The Third Eye is an example.  To have the Divine One's name imprinted on one's forehead meant that one belonged to the Divine One in a powerful and deep way.

The Divine One's "name" is another way of saying "identity."  To have the Divine One's very identity imprinted on the site of one's own identity and sight expressed an intertwining of identities.  It is another way of saying that the Divine One is in me and I am in the Divine One in a mysterious but powerful way.  That is the reality that Jesus taught when he spoke of the vine and the branches.

The Message, as it usually does, adds meaning in the way it translates that passage.
they’ll look on his face, their foreheads mirroring God. 
This is a lovely and striking image.  As I gaze at the luminous face of the Divine One, that face is reflected in my forehead, my identity.  In a strange way, I begin to see as the Divine One sees and that changes everything.  As I go through my daily life, I reflect the Divine One in my interactions with the world and all those in it.  It can, of course, be otherwise.  If I do not gaze on the Divine face but the faces of my idols, I will reflect all the dysfunction, self-centeredness, and venality which they inflict on my life.

But where and how can I possibly see the Divine face?  It can only be in prayer, the prayer of presence and stillness.  If i start my day in meditation and contemplation as much as I am able and as much as the Divine One graces me, I am more able to carry that bright shining reality into my daily life.  I am called to be a reflection of the Divine One in every aspect of my life because it is only in such reflected reality that the Divine One is active in our world.

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