shines brighter than the sun

There is a certain ecstasy that emanates from within and shines forth with a radiance so bright it overwhelms every sensation, a joy that cannot be contained nor suppressed, and a beauty that surprises all who are witness to a soul filled to overflowing with Almighty God. Perhaps it is for no other reason than such experiences are truly rare but I believe it is because we steadfastly refuse to open ourselves to observing those breath-taking moments should they flash before our eyes. We seldom place ourselves on the pathway that leads to such moments and even if we do so we find our eyes closed or are facing in the wrong direction.

Blinded by the Sun

Blinded by the Sun

It is a malady that we find woven throughout the fabric of human history, that strange ailment that finds us staring into the sun to see the light only to be blinded by its brightness. Perhaps we can come to understand such moments by recalling the times when even those closest to Jesus failed to recognize him, such as when Mary of Magdala stood face-to-face with Jesus at the empty tomb yet she thought he was the gardener [Jn 20: 15] or when the two disciples did not recognize him on the road to Emmaus until he broke bread with them [Lk 24:31].

A soul that is completely filled with God shines brighter than the sun or the most brilliant star. There is an essence that surrounds and somehow illuminates even the darkest corner. To come in contact with such a moment leaves no doubt that God has granted you a taste of heaven and a glimpse into His coming glory.

I believe with all my heart that I have been blessed a handful of times in my life with such moments and each has served to increase my faith and to fill me with a hunger for more. But it has also opened my eyes to see God in anyone and everyone that I may encounter.

My visits with my friend Father John and my cousin’s husband Wes were two such moments. God filled them and I saw Him in their eyes, I heard Him in their voices, I felt Him through their touch. At his confirmation, a young man who I had prepared for the Sacrament a few years ago was another such moment. I saw an at-risk student whose young life was filled with disturbing events which included an unknown father, maternal abandonment, juvenile delinquency and gang association, literally transformed before me. God filled him completely and I caught a glimpse of His glory.

Theologians and biblical scholars are convinced that those closest to Jesus, his personal friends and disciples, believed that he was a prophet and a holy man but did not believe that he was divine. And perhaps they are correct in their convictions, but Jesus, being God, was by his very nature filled completely with God, by God, and of God, and that could never be hidden from them.

It is impossible to place the light that is God in darkness. Darkness is nothing but the absence of light and light by its very essence destroys the darkness. Jesus is the light that “shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” [Jn 1:5]

Deacon Chuck

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: http://deaconscorner.org. Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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