Brian’s Reflection: Wednesday, October 12, 2011
But in the next world I shan't be
doing music, with all the striving
I shall be being it.
Ralph Vaughan Williams, composer,
musician; he was born on this date, 1872
I was “raised” in the Anglo-Catholic (and, I would like to think, central Anglican) theological understanding that the essence of being a priest is not in what one DOES, but in what on IS. Well do I remember my ordination to the priesthood in 1973, and particularly the words as the bishop laid on hands and prayed, “Make him a priest”. I definitely had the sense that I was becoming something I hadn’t been before. A “new creation”. And it was definitely connected with Jesus, the “great High Priest”. (We won’t at this point get into all the complicated ramifications of this!)
What is true of the “making of a priest” is also true of every one of us.
My comprehension is that “this World” and the “next World” are the same thing, in the context of having been baptized into the Kingdom Life. All artificial barriers dissolve. (All. Think about it.) Which means that here in “this Life” we are called not to DO but to BE. To be what?
To be fully Human. To be “as Christ”. To be “divine”. To be “eternal”. To be “free of the power of sin and death”. Oh, there may be some sense that it is not possible to be “perfected “ in this mortal life. After all, this is just one of an infinite number of stages in the great Mystery of Being!
I would like simply to suggest (notice that I do NOT split infinitives!) that we all concentrate on BEING, not DOING. Just BE Love. Just BE Compassion. Just BE Justice. Just BE Kindness. Just BE Joy. Just BE Simplicity.
To me, this is how we will best understand what Jesus meant when He said, “My yoke is easy, and my burden light”.