John the Apostle describes the Holy City in the book of the Apocalypse: ‘And in the Spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal’. He continues: ‘And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb’.

We are in the area of experience where human language fails utterly to describe what is seen in the vision: radiance, clarity, glory, most rare jewel, light. Elsewhere in the Apocalypse the Lamb is described as ‘slain’, wounded, but here the Lamb is a lamp radiating glory.

As we are gradually purified, we become more able to ‘hold’ more of this glory, this side of death and beyond, till in the end we are able to live fully in it. As St Augustine said, ‘We shall rest and we shall see; we shall see and we shall love; we shall love and we shall praise; behold what shall be in the end and shall not end’.

May God bless your Sunday.