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Here we are at the end of our calendar year and the beginning of our liturgical year. I always celebrate Advent as a “New Year” in my life, another beginning, a chance to start over. I’m reading a book titled Restoration Year. In a section called “Fully Alive,” the author reflects on the familiar quotation of St. Irenaeus: The glory of God is man (one) fully alive. It prompted him to: What are God’s intentions toward me?

Irenaeus continues in the text from which this quote is taken that the glory of God gives life and that those who see God receive life. For this reason God, who cannot be grasped or comprehended or seen, allows to be seen, comprehended and grasped by us, that we, who see and receive God, may be given life. God will be seen by those who bear the Spirit and are always waiting for the coming of their God.

With the early dark evenings, not only outside our doors each day, but also, perhaps in our hearts, our spirits and our minds, it might be good to ponder - What glory does God have in mind for my life? In true humility, that is in honesty, we can begin by recalling all the good we have done and continue to do for our families, friends, those in need, and in our work.

Scripture, The Word of God, from thousands of years before the coming of Jesus, speaks to us of God’s glory alive in those made in the image and likeness of God.

In the very first book of the Bible, Genesis, we learn that humankind was created in God’s own image, male and female, formed from the dust of the earth and given the breath of life. God let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing upon the earth. Who but the Creator would share such authority and power? How do I treasure and reverence all of life around me?

David proclaims in Psalm 19 that the heavens tell the glory of God and the skies show that God’s hands created them. The skies don’t speak or use words, nor do they make any sounds. Yet their voice goes out into the whole earth. How have Ifelt as I viewed a glorious sun rise or a breath-taking sunset? What captured mymind and heart as I gazed at the stars and the moon?

God spoke to Isaiah saying: You are my servant in whom I will show my glory.

Arise and shine for your light is come, and the glory of the LORD is upon you.

You will have the Lord for an everlasting light and God for your glory. Did I ever think about God getting this excited about me? How does that make me feel? How do I light up the world?

The glory of God is reflected in our goodness and reverence for all of creation. We were created to praise God’s grace, to assure the presence of God’s glory and our blessing. In all things God works for the good of those who love God, of thosewho have been called according to the plan of God.

We are precious in God’s eyes and honored for we were called by name and created for glory. We are what we are by grace! We are God’s work of art, fashioned in goodness and light. We bless God’s glorious name forever by whatever we do, whether in word or in work do, for we do it fully alive for the glory of God!

Sister Donna Mikula