The Golden Splendor of God’s Reign
Jesus’ life and his awareness gave his followers hope for a change of heart that could perceive the Divine Presence that brought them all together. They caught this from Jesus and followed him because they realized they were better people just by being with him. Through his presence, Jesus was offering a new way of seeing God’s way of being and acting, and what the world would be like if people accepted their place in God’s reign.
Mary became part of the new creation when she responded to the angel Gabriel: “May it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). Jesus invited people into the new creation as participants in the reign of God. And he committed every fiber of his being to opening our hearts to divine love when, in the Garden of Gethsemane, he prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass without my drinking it, your will be done!” Since we’re now part of the reign of God, which is recreating and healing our lives, we also share in this calling.
Like Mary and like Jesus, we can find that prayer is more than just a good thing to do. It can be a letting in of love’s generosity. This happens when we spend time with our Father in prayer.
As we grow through prayer, our hearts become attuned to the shimmering beauty of God’s presence and desire to heal tragedy, pain, and sorrow. We become willing to bear them in our hearts along with Jesus, Mary, and so many loving people before us. Through our acceptance, we enclose them within the divine womb of mercy and inexhaustible ocean of compassion until they heal and transform our shared life through the divine breath of God that all of us take in.
The Icon of our Mother of Perpetual Help draws us into the hearts of Jesus and Mary. The golden background of the icon alerts us that we are being invited into the golden splendor of the reign of God. Our meditation on the icon opens our heart and mind as Mary and Jesus help us become aware of our Father’s love and the Holy Spirit’s inspiring guidance.
Fr. Ken Sedlack, CSsR