Return to God’s word for the purpose of “hearing and seeing” Christ in the text. Fix your gaze on the illumination. Ask God to open the eyes of your heart and enable you to see what God wants you to see.
There is so much to see in this illumination! I am struck by the brilliant gold, which appears to be either fading or taking on human nature, or both. We believe in our faith that Jesus Christ is both fully divine and fully human, one does not lessen with the advent of the other. But as S. Irene Nowell writes, “We are invited to imagine the Word stepping out of eternity and becoming flesh.” The process of incarnation is not quite complete here. What I am particularly drawn to is Christ’s right foot. It is bent in an unusual way. It reminds me of the illumination from Mark’s frontispiece, Baptism of Christ. In that illumination we see John leaving the scene, having fulfilled his role to prepare the way for One Greater. As he walks away, he turns and looks back, almost with sadness at the life he leaves behind. You’ll see that his foot is in the same position as Jesus’ in Word Made Flesh.
This makes me wonder if Jesus is sad to leave his eternal home. Is he stepping forth, like John, in faithfulness and determination? But unlike John, Jesus is both God and human in order to take on his role of Savior of the world.
Where are the eyes of your heart drawn to?
©Christ Our Light, Donald Jackson, 2002 The Saint John’s Bible, Order of Saint Benedict, Collegeville, Minnesota. Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Catholic Edition, © 1993, 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved