A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Monday, August 14, 2006

Focus into God

Today's first reading is the famous vision that opens the book of the prophet Ezekiel.

Or at least part of it: Ezekiel 1:2-5, 24-28c.

The verses and the imagery omitted from the passage are fascinating. The imagery of the four living creatures would come again in the visions of the book of Revelation and would provide the traditional iconography for the Gospel writers Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Other aspects of the vision have been seized upon by some imaginative people who say that Ezekiel really had a close encounter with a UFO.

But those details are set aside for today's reading.

The focus is sharpened on what is the most important part of the reading: the vision of God himself.

Yet even when the focus is thus sharpened, much remains unclear. Ezekiel's descriptions are vague ("something like.... something like....") and challenge translators (Ezekiel uses the obscure word "Chashmal" which may mean "amber," "electrum," or even "gleaming bronze" - as in the RSV below).

And above the firmament over their heads
there was the likeness of a throne,
in appearance like sapphire;
and seated above the likeness of a throne
was a likeness as it were of a human form.

And upward from what had the appearance of his loins
I saw as it were gleaming bronze,
like the appearance of fire enclosed round about;
and downward from what had the appearance of his loins
I saw as it were the appearance of fire,
and there was brightness round about him.

Like the appearance of the bow
that is in the cloud on the day of rain,
so was the appearance of the brightness round about.

Such was the appearance
of the likeness
of the glory
of the LORD.

The task that lies before us is to see more clearly into this glory, to focus more into God.

We can get caught up in many details - and many of them may be important and godly - but we must never forget that our ultimate destiny is the vision of God himself: a vision of infinite dimensions and inexhaustible beauty for which eternity itself is insufficient to behold and explore.

Until the day when God calls us to stand before him face to face (give me that grace and show me your mercy, Lord), we must prepare, focusing into God in our prayer and in our worship, through the Sacraments and the Scriptures and the beauty of his creation.

We must focus into God, letting his grace strip away from us those things which are not godly, which impede us from the glory of God.

We must focus into God most of all in and through his Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Come, Lord, enlighten us and unburden us, that we may shine with your light in this darkening world, and that we may focus ever more perfectly into the glory that is yours.