4th Sunday of Easter Reflection
We have entered into the silence of unknowing, replacing the brutish human chain of productivity for a new opportunity. In the silence of our monster machines to listen and to observe; to use our creativity to seek a different way of being a human within creation.
In this time of pandemic that has covered the face of the earth, many of us listen obsessively to the news of numbers of infections increasing and of people dying. We are perhaps especially curious about those effected who are the influential, the rich, the famous, the stars, and all those glitzy idols of our time. For some of us, there may even be a wry smile at the tarnish now appearing on those same idols. There is a new understanding emerging, a realisation that we ourselves by our desire for diversions have supported and enabled these idols in their lavish and often outlandish excess.
A dear friend and former parishioner recently commented on social media:
Next year I don’t want to hear anything about the Oscars, Grammies, or Golden globes. I don’t want to see a single actor, actress, celebrity or sports star on any red carpet trying to push their bs political agenda on us all! Next year I want to see nurses, doctors, military, first responders (police, EMS, fire), social workers, caregivers, support workers, shop workers, truck drivers, pharmacists, teachers, the FARMERS…..all having free red carpet parties with awards. We need to honour the real heroes in our society for a change!
Yes, to turn away from those diversions, to turn away from all that is false. This is also the central call of the gospel to turn towards Truth and repentance, to metanoia, to turn away from all our projections, fear, illusions and distractions, to recognize our paranoia and all that is false. Jesus asserts that this is the gift of God with us, Truth, the very Jesus who brings us ‘Life to the Full’.
If something is true, it is true always and everywhere, universally, or it is not true at all; this is the very nature of reality, of truth.
From our the experience we know that choosing a gift for someone can be difficult, yet there are a number of assumptions that guide us; the recipient is someone that we care about deeply and does not already have that elusive gift; they may never have had it, or it may have been lost or destroyed. We also expect that they need and will appreciate the gift that we choose.
Although we also buy gifts for the dead, sometimes out of regret, recollection, endeavouring to recover what has been lost, public display, or even fear, yet we are innately aware that such gifts are merely illusions reflecting our projections and serve no material benefit for the dead.
Jesus is speaking to us today as clearly as he did to those disciples two millennia ago; what is true, is true always and everywhere. Jesus is the one who brings us life to the full, obviously, something we don’t have, maybe never had or something we have lost. Perhaps this is the same reflection that inspired the writers of Genesis 1,500 years before the Christ event.
As in every age, this must also be our reflection today: “what is keeping me from having life to the full”; not just life as a masquerade of truth, but a life that is authentic and meaningful. To recognize and to acknowledge that our lives are often a charade requires courage. As Winston Churchill also agonized, “if I am not the fighting man, who am I? … Who am I?” There are many, who, because of doubt and fear will scoff at this question; but even in this sarcasm we can discover the mask hiding our fear, for to see myself in the eyes of the beloved is to discover the truth that I am.
When Truth speaks within my heart, my entire body resonates with the allure of the melody; “come join the dance, this is your part in the Great Composition”. I have been spoken into Truth, even when I do not see the road ahead or even the next step of this great adventure; “from the beginning… things live, and things die, and things live again.
There is solidarity and similitude among all creation; all have the same artist, all evolve from that same potentiality and are all are ordered to God’s glory. We are brothers and sisters not only of each other but with all of creation. The words of Francis from Canticle of the Creatures incarnates this idea beautifully and is central to our spirituality as Franciscans.
We are called to the spirituality of exuberant joy in the artist made evident through the artwork; the dialogue of lived experience through which we deepen our spiritual life within the vibrant colours of God’s spiritual Love.
This requires my full involvement and my participation in the creative process of becoming that which is most “authentic”, that which is true. To live within this union with Christ is to involve me in the Christ project of ongoing creation; the hope that builds bridges, bringing together that which is separated, splintered or excluded by our many illusions.
This is a dark time of unknowing, a time of uncertainty and a time of destruction, yet if we grasp this moment in Christ as a new opportunity to create another way to live, the promise of Life to the Full is within the grasp of us all.