Glory that surpasses . . . 

Have you ever watched a little child contentedly nibbling on an animal cracker while an adult nearby enjoys a gourmet dessert?   That child has no idea what she’s missing;  she feels like she has it all.   That’s something of an analogy to how we might experience the surpassing glory that Paul preaches about in today’s first reading (2 Corinthians 3:10).

Compared to the ancient Israelites, we may feel like we have it all.   They had the Mosaic law, but they didn’t know God’s salvation and the forgiveness of their sins as powerfully as we do.   We have received the Holy Spirit, we have centuries of Church history to teach us, and we have the power of the sacraments to strengthen us and help us on the road to holiness.   So we might feel like the adult enjoying the gourmet dessert—we have so much more than our fathers in faith.

Yet at the same time, we might also feel like that little child chewing on her animal cracker because we know that God has so much more waiting for us when Jesus comes again in glory.   On that day, all pain and suffering will be banished forever.   Sickness will no longer affect us, and our bodies will not only be whole but also radiant.   We won’t struggle with temptation.   We will desire whatever God desires, and nothing else.   There in our heavenly home, we will experience the total contentment of the banquet that we experience only partially at every Mass.

Thinking about our future glory is not meant to make us discontent with the present.   Like the little girl with the animal cracker, we can be grateful for the blessings of “now.”   The Holy Spirit is giving us help to know how to pray, how to turn back to God when we feel weak, and how to be thankful.   The Eucharist is helping us to overcome temptation and is making us into one body in Christ.   Still, it’s exciting to think that God’s plan for us just gets better and better as we grow closer to him and come closer to our eternal destiny.

Word Among Us