Brian’s Reflection: The Weekend, Sat, April 9, 2011
[God] set me [Ezekiel] down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones.
He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and
they were very dry ….. I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath
came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.
Ezekiel, chapter 37
[Jesus] cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" The dead man came out,
his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth.
Jesus said to them, "Unbind him, and let him go."
The Gospel called “John”, chapter 11 [for Lent V, Year A, RCL]
The complete Readings for this Sunday’s Liturgy can be found at;
I’ll tell you what these stories generate in me: the desire to LIVE!
And the next thing is: What constitutes REALLY LIVING??? And how does one get there?
Human beings are not stupid. That’s what our magnificent brains are all about. The human brain is – to use the mythological language of religion – “God’s instrument” for getting us up to speed. As soon as our brains were able to do so, we began to wonder what Life could really be like at the high end. Being human beings, we thought of fabulous possibilities! As most thinking people will know, it is quite a complex thing actually to figure it all out.
Sensible Christians have come up with a rather sensible symbol: We must become A Chip off the old Divine Block. To put it another way, God has to breathe Her breath into our material stuff, and we Come Alive. Just as God did with Adam & Eve, the metaphorical prototypes of Human Beings. (Take the 7-Day theory of Creation story with a big grain of salt; the authors of that one are real Late Comers!)
So: how can we express in words what it means to become Really Human? I’ve been trying to do this for near 40 years ….. and it isn’t easy. I keep getting older, and new ideas keep popping into my head. So today I say this: we have to wake up to the fact that our Humanity is incomplete until we have discovered how to Love. How to incarnate Compassion. This is the great evolutionary step. But it should come as no surprise; every great spiritual teacher and spiritual path has proposed this. It is disappointing that we should have arrived at April 10, 2011, and that political leaders all over the World should not yet have arrived at this elemental stage of human development. And need I make any comment about those of us who elect them? Talk about an unevolved stage of understanding how to make out lives wonderful!
“God” is, if I may use the authentic Gospel version of it, Unconditional Love. Jesus is the Incarnate manifestation of that Unconditional Love. It is reflected in the Buddha, hopefully The Prophet (I hesitate simply because I know woefully little about the Qur’an), Zoroaster, Moses, and any other enlarged Spiritual Being. The Message is clear and simple: “Love one another as I have loved you”, and “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. It’s really very simple.
We Human Beings are not simple. We are very complicated. But the Readings for today proclaim – as we head towards Holy Week – “These Bones Can Live”. Israel can. Lazarus can. You can. I can. And folks: I’ve experienced it. So, as Easter approaches, ask yourself: “Can I Live?”
The answer is: Yes. It is the heart of the Mystery of God. “__________, Come Forth!”