Brian’s Reflection: Monday, November 15, 2010
When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned
with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, Jesus said, "As
for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone
will be left upon another; all will be thrown down." ….. You will be
betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and
they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because
of my name. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance
you will gain your souls."
Luke 21 (the Gospel reading (RCL) for Sunday, November 14, 2010
I see this as a parable about searching for, finding, and claiming one’s “own Christ”. I see it as a wise perspective on the Journey that is Life, and on each of us taking and shaping and “surrendering” to that Journey. For those familiar with the Bible, you will recall that when Jesus spoke another time about “destroying the Temple” and that in three days He would rebuild it, the Evangelist adds a kind of post-resurrection hind-sight footnote, stating that Jesus was talking about His body.
One central aspect of the Christian Myth/Message is Incarnation: God becoming Human. This is true of many other faiths/religions as well: the Divine takes human form and “dwells among us”. The import of this is that human beings become fully human – from “mere dust” to a “living being” – when they become fully conscious of/to the indwelling Divine. It’s from this that I derive the mystical idea that Jesus is talking about our human Journey to fullness of Being.
The parable makes it clear, first, that our Full Humanity is a beautiful thing: “adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God”; and second, that it is hard to stay focused on this transformation! It’s hard work! There are days when it all comes crashing down. There are days that can be or seem full of betrayal, sometimes by the actions of others, sometimes even by our own self-betrayal. It could be very discouraging!
But Jesus says that “God”, that that Great Mystery that is the source of all Being, is “on our side”! That Existence is tilted in our favour. That we are meant to be slowing but surely transfigured into Fullness. That we will get there: “By your endurance you will gain your souls.” And by “endurance”, I don’t think He means just “standing in place” – though that will certainly at times be part of it. He means doing our active best to know and seek our evolution into God.
I hope today and every day has some measure of this for each of us.