Scripture Reading for Today: 2 Corinthians 3:15 – 4:1, 3-6 (read it here)
While Paul succeeded in leading many Gentiles to Christ and the Gospel, he was not as successful in leading many Jews to accept Jesus as God.
In our Reading, Paul accounts for this lack of success by reinterpreting the veil that covered Moses’ face after his encounter with God on Mount Sinai.
Here Paul thinks back of the Book of Exodus when Moses put a veil upon his face when he had finished speaking with God, and the glory on his face was so bright that no one could gaze steadily upon it.
But Paul takes this to mean that Moses veiled his face so that the people should not have to see the slow fading of the glory that once was there. His first thought is that the glory of the old covenant, that is the old relationship between God and his people, was essentially a fading one.
In other words, the old covenant was destined to be surpassed, not as the wrong is surpassed by the right, but as the incomplete is surpassed by the complete. The revelation that came by Moses was true and great, but it was only partial; but the revelation that came in Jesus Christ is full and final.
As Augustine so wisely put it long ago, “We do wrong to the Old Testament if we deny that it comes from the same just and good God as the New. On the other hand, we do wrong to the New Testament, if we put the Old on a level with it.” The one is a step to glory; the other is the summit of glory.
The idea of the veil now takes hold of Paul’s mind, and he uses it in different ways. He says that, when the Jews listen to the reading of the Old Testament, as they do every Sabbath day in the synagogue, a veil upon their eyes keeps them from seeing the real meaning of it. It ought to point them to Jesus Christ, but the veil keeps them from seeing that.
Paul goes on to say that we see the glory of the Lord with no veil upon our faces, and because of that, we, too, are changed from glory into glory.
Possibly what Paul means is that, if we gaze at Christ, in the end we reflect him. His image appears in our lives. It is a law of life that we become like the people we gaze at. If we contemplate Jesus Christ, in the end we come to reflect him.
Paul also reminds us that it is the experience of the Christian life that the work of the Spirit and the work of the Risen Lord are one and the same. The strength and guidance we receive come both from the Spirit and from the Risen Lord.
Where the Spirit is, says Paul, there is liberty. He means that when our obedience to God comes from the operation of the Spirit in our heart, the very center of our being has no other desire than to serve God. And, in God’s service we find our perfect freedom.
In the bread and wine of the Eucharist we contemplate Christ’s Body and Blood.
Let us also give our whole being over to the Lord so that he may radiate himself in the world through us.
Taught by Mary, let us also allow the hope of eternal glory to sustain our life.
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Que la palabra de Cristo habite y se sienta a gusto en ustedes (Col. 3:16)
Let us make this a blessed day.
Keep Jesus in your mind and heart and share him with all you meet.
Fr. Michael Brizio, IMC
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