Everything has a beginning and an end in the physical and mental universes. We don’t think about that idea much in the midst of a Covid 19 Pandemic. I only bring this up because that was the main thought of my Lectio Divina meditation (Philippians 2:5). This crazy idea came to me while reflecting on how even Christ was like us in all things, except sin. Jesus of Nazareth had a beginning and he died on the cross, but with a difference. He voluntarily gave up his life, it was not taken from him. Read Luke 1-2. Jesus opened up the gates of heaven for each of us by rising from the dead and ascending to the Father. The spiritual universe, the one we voluntarily enter (as Christ voluntarily accepted death on the cross) in Baptism, has no end. Death is not a roadblock anymore, it is a gateway to a whole new life as an adopted son or daughter of the Father.
Jesus took on our limited nature with the “Let it be” from Mary. Read what St. Paul says about this in Philippians 2:5-12. When Jesus bids us keep his commandments and love one another as He loved us, this is what I think about. This one command can only be understood in terms of the sacrificial death of Christ on the cross, the fulfillment of second Abraham, the second Isaac, the second Moses, the second Joseph, the second David, the second Jeremiah, the second Isaiah, the second Elijah, and the second Ezekiel. There is a pattern of fulfillment in the progression from the anticipation of the Messiah to the actual person of Christ. As I look at the dynamics of the seamless morphing from Old to New Covenants, what strikes me is the sign of contradiction is so evident in the Old Testament. if the center of the Old Testament is someone to save them from the oppression of the enemy, then the one to come must be a champion of power and authority. The end time of the anticipation phase of our salvation ends and begins with John the Baptist asking the question, are you the one to come or shall we love for another?
With Christ reconnecting to the Kingdom of Heaven with the Father, a new beginning and new end come as an option. Now, the beginning is a voluntary one that each individual makes that Christ is the Messiah come to redeem us from the tyranny of believing that we are god. This is marked by the Baptism of adoption as sons and daughters of the Father, but gives each of us personally and as church the power that comes from the Holy Spirit. Unlike the physical universe of matter, time, space, and energy, this spiritual universe has a beginning (Baptism) and an end, but with a catch. The end, in this case, is eternity.
THE PARADOX OF GOD
There is a place, deep within us, a sanctuary, and inner space, that contains our most precious treasures. These hidden treasures are invisible to the eye yet guide our every movement. It is the one center that is the capstone of our being, a principle or being that does not change with time nor is affected by death. Humans are unlike all other living things in that they have reason and the ability to choose what is good for them. Why is that? We have reason for a reason and the ability to choose what we reason. Choose what? You place in your center what you think your treasure is, one that will sustain you in good times and bad, one that will propel you beyond the physical and mental universe which we call home to that which only our center can access. Your purpose in life is what you place in your center. Humans don’t mind looking at external reality as a center (family, friends, work, relationships, power, money, houses, bank account) but are afraid to peek inside that inner space to see what’s there. Following Cistercian, contemplative practice is a way to enter into the silence and solitude of the heart through the mind and sit in stillness to wait for Christ to come to sit next to us. This is “Being” sitting next to being. As the Sun’s rays of warmth, there are no words spoken, no hidden agendas to talk about. Just because your road in life is rocky doesn’t mean you are on the wrong road. Look inside to find the strength that comes from the true source of power–Love. You can’t buy this Love, you can’t believe it into existence. It just is and your being grows in the ability to expand to receive Love the more you practice. We are made to exist beyond mere matter, space, and time. To prepare for the trip, you need to know what to pack. No one but you can pack that one suitcase. So, what would you pack? A hint might be the treasures you have gathered from a lifetime of struggling to find purpose and making your life of value. You have a codebook to decipher the language of the next level of reality, the Kingdom of Heaven, if you know where to look and the key to unlocking the mystery of faith. Do you know where to look? You have only one rule to follow, and it is to love others as Christ has loved us. This road to our inner self is not easy and takes countless trials and failures to accomplish. The Master will not leave us orphans on our particular journey to what is unseen yet real. Don’t be afraid, He says, it is worth it.
As a result of many, many years of trying to have in me the mind of Christ Jesus daily ((Philippians 2:5), I have adjusted my end time from my physical body dying to that of claiming my inheritance in the Kingdom of Heaven, if God judges me worthy.