Visions of Jesus

by Kathleen Glavich, SND on May 14, 2014

in Blogs

Artist: Sr. Maresa Lilley, SND

Artist: Sr. Maresa Lilley, SND

A former prostitute turned her life around and became involved in church. She claimed to have visions of Jesus. Once during a woman’s retreat while Father Jim was speaking, she called out, “Father Jim, I see Jesus. He’s standing right next to you.” Calmly the priest replied, “Now we all know that Jesus is with us. Some of us can see him, and some of us can’t.” Then he went on with his talk.

The Jewish people did not make images, which to them could easily become idols, so we do not know what Jesus looked like. There is the mysterious Shroud of Turin, which may or may not give us clues. But we really can only speculate about the God-Man’s appearance. Because Jesus was a first-century Jewish man, we can surmise that he was about 5’4”, tan, and had black or brown hair and brown eyes. (Scripture tells us, though, that his ancestor King David had auburn hair!) Jesus must have looked like his countrymen, or he wouldn’t have been able to melt into a crowd. And in the garden, Judas would not have had to kiss Jesus to identify him.

Some people think that because Jesus was the Son of God, he was strikingly handsome. Others refute that, quoting Isaiah 53:2 which states, “He had no form or majesty that we should look at him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” As a construction worker, Jesus must have been strong and muscular. As an itinerant preacher who lived outdoors and walked for miles, he must have been tough. He also must have been gifted with a powerful voice. No doubt, Jesus greatly resembled his mother, Mary, who was the source of all of his DNA.

No matter what his physical appearance, Jesus had a charisma that drew people to him. The apostles, martyrs, and Christians throughout the last 2,000 years have devoted their lives to him.

We might wish that we could see Jesus as the apostles and others who walked with him did. Most saints in later centuries were not gifted with visions of Jesus. Like them, we will have to wait until we die to see Jesus face-to-face and enjoy the Beatific Vision. In the meantime, we count on his words, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe” (John 20:29).

Imagine that Jesus, the risen Lord, stands before you, gazing on you with love. What would you say to him?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Sister Maresa May 15, 2014 at 4:11 pm

Dear Sister Mary Kathleen,
Thank you for the article. Yes, we can only conjecture. What a surprise will be the face to face encounter.

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melamnie jean juneau May 15, 2014 at 10:08 pm

loved this

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Gabrielle Renoir June 26, 2014 at 3:50 am

I have never seen Jesus, and I am always skeptical of private revelations. Not that I disbelieve, I am just skeptical. If I were to see Jesus, I suppose I would be skeptical of my own vision. However, not a second goes by that I don’t feel his loving presence caring for me and protecting me and even needing me as I need him. I do realize Jesus is God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity and as such, he needs no one. But I also realize God made the world and all in it for Jesus, and Jesus wants us to love him very much. I believe his heart is wounded when anyone turns away from him. My greatest joy in life is to console the wounded heart of Jesus with unconditional love.

Thank you for your blog, Sister Kathleen. It is very interesting, informative, and comforting. I grew up with the Carmelite Sisters in France, in a cloister where my aunt was the Mother Superior. The Church and the religious life has been a large part of my life all my life, and I treasure both.

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