As I sat musing the state of my world with the introduction of the Coronavirus, I kept wondering what would happen if certain scenarios played out. One such outcome is, this virus would mutate, become airborne, and kill millions of people, including myself. Such a doomsday picture is easily dismissed because I tend not to be a conspiracist, but it is very much a part of my thinking, which brings me to my daily Lectio Divina meditations. What happens as I try to contemplate Christ as I sit on a park bench in the dead of Winter, is very much informed by what happens around me. In no [particular order, here are some of my disjointed thoughts as I now contemplate Philippians 2:5, the only phrase I have used since 1961.
Wonder if there never was a God, no Trinity, no hope for us for the future, what would my world look like? How would I react? Gods would look like me, act like me, think like me. I would just try to lead a peaceful life and then die. That’s all folks! Happy are they who trust in the Lord.
Wonder if the Blessed Mother, ashamed because she found herself pregnant without having intercourse, humiliated before her family and relatives, open to public stoning for her shame, thought of her circumstance and decided to get an abortion? What would my world be without Jesus? What would be the center of my life? No Eucharist. No Resurrection. No Salvation. No Hope. No Holy Spirit. Happy are those hope in the Lord.
Wonder if there is no Resurrection of Christ from the dead to make us sons and daughters of the Father and heir to His kingdom? What would my world look like? No Eucharist. No Liturgy of the Hours. No Lectio Divina. Without Christ as living and true God, none of this make any sense. Happy are they who hear the word of God and keep it.
|Luke 16 NRSVCE – The Parable of the Dishonest Manager The Rich Man and Lazarus 19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham.[g] The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side.[h] 24 He called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony. 26 Besides all this, between you and us a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.’ 27 He said, ‘Then, father, I beg you to send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—that he may warn them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.’ 29 Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.’ 30 He said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”|
Wonder if there is no Real Presence in the Eucharist but it is just a symbol, a mental construct to help us think of Jesus, with no intrinsic power to heal, no life, no truth, no way to the Father? The real presence of Christ is a sign of contradiction. Ii doesn’t make sense to those without Faith, but to those with Faith, no explanation is needed. Blessed are those who believe that the words of Christ are true and let their good works shine before humans so that they can glorify our heavenly Father.
Wonder if there is no Devil, only the hallucinations of old men trying to frighten children with threats of sin and going to hell? No templations! No sin! Only my interpretation of good and evil and if someone does not agree, I kill them (Cain and Abel). There is no good but what I say it is. There is no evil but what I say. Blessed are they who come in the name of the Lord.
Wonder if there was no Adam and Eve? We are just animals with instincts of self preservation and procreation. No love. No morality. No hope. We don’t know that we know. Life has a beginning and an end. No Jesus. No heaven. No way. No truth. No life. All creation bless the Lord for your words to us are light, and in this light we see life.
Wonder if there is no Lay Cistercians? No growing deeper in Christ Jesus. No praising the Father through the Son with the Holy Spirit. No contemplation. No loving others as Christ loved us.
In this Lenten time of penance and reparation for our sins of the past, we join in the passion and suffering of Christ as he, once again, works he way towards death, the death he would conquer by rising from the dead. It is due to Faith that we can even say Jesus is Lord. We must all die to self, a contradiction that is folly to the Pagans and a stumbling block to the Jews, in order to rise again and again with Christ.
How blessed we are through grace to be able to recognize that we are adopted sons and daughters of the Father and heirs of the kingdom. We begin by making that kingdom real on this earth to prepare for living with the Mystery of Faith after we die. Death has no more sting, as we hear in the Exsultet for Easter Vigil. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzJGFIa6R80
Finally, wonder if God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son to free us from physical death, show us how to love one another as Christ loved us, and live life using the tools for good works as found in Chapter 4 of the Rule of St. Benedict. How blessed are we to have heard the word of God and try to keep it with God’s grace. Alleluia.