As you read and reflect on today’s beatitude, please listen to this track from contemporary Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. We will feature this track throughout Lent.
The blessing Jesus speaks over the pure in heart is like the other beatitudes in that it has a double fulfillment: now, and in the new world coming. That means that the pure in heart now “see through a glass darkly”, but will one day see Him “face to face” (I Corinthians 13:12).
The warm, intimate relationship with God that we can experience now will attain its glorious consummation when we look upon His face in eternity. We will no longer walk by faith, but by sight (II Corinthians 5:7). All the love, acceptance, and understanding we so long for now will be complete when we look in His eyes. C. S Lewis described that wondrous, fulfilling moment as when “The door on which we have been knocking all our lives will open at last” (The Weight of Glory). All that we have ever longed or hoped for will be ours!
It will be a transforming moment to see finally see Him. Just as seeing Christ with faith’s eyes transforms us in this life, so to see Him face to face will consummate our transformation into His glorious image (II Corinthians 3:18). To see Him will mean to be like Him:
“Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is” (I John 3:2).
Through the long history of the church the transforming power of seeing God’s face has been called “The Beatific Vision”. This is when we will join the Communion of the Saints in seeing God face to face. Because that moment will bring perfect, complete, total bliss and happiness, it is called the “beatific” or “blessed” vision. We will see God!
PONDER AND PRAY
“We will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves.”—I John 3:2b-3
- What does the promise of seeing God face to face stir in you, your feelings and thoughts?
- Does the sure “hope” of seeing God stir within you the desire to “purify” yourself? In very practical terms, what would it mean for you to “purify” yourself? What do you want to say to God about this?