We are given each year, Forty days to prepare ourselves to be drawn anew, into the Pascal Mystery. Each year has to be a new experience as we are made ever renewed by The Same Power that raised the historical Jesus from the dead to become The Christ, The Risen Lord. This newness becoming is a moment to moment event. It is not rushed, so we are powerless to hurry up the process of suffering, death, burial and resurrection. How often have I wished the process to hurry up. It never has. When I am in that restless, irritable mood, my mother’s words, more often than not, pop into my head: "The mills of God grind very slowly but they grind very true." This "grinding" of us wheat is a reality we have to become reconciled with and slowly grow with acceptance. I now thank God I only have to take this ego-defeating process "one moment at a time." By reason of the secret workings of grace I have grown kind of comfortable with this spiritual reality. Joe, you are safe in this now moment. Now is "the acceptable time, now is the time of salvation." In this now moment all the grace, all the help I need is being poured into my soul. In this moment, you and I are proffered, offered, the gift of our Creator God’s unconditional creative love. In this Love, we will find our rest as we respond to the invitation "COME REST IN ME."
As chickens find safety under the wings of their mother hen. We, too are always and ever safe beneath the wings and warmly snuggled up to The Mother Hen. In Luke’s Gospel Jesus looks out over Jerusalem and cries. Yes, our God cried. The so human Jesus cried more than once. Jesus bemoans the hard fact that the refuge offered was rejected. So we are in real good company when we shed tears upon rejection. When we are not accepting of ourselves, we will not have an accepting of a Higher Power Who accepts us and lavishes care upon us regardless of how we see ourselves or how others see us as we are right now. In this "right now moment we are so loved, let's claim that love and in it find our rest. We do not have to wear the mask of perfectionism to be the recipient of the grace, the love of a real God-Higher Power. The mask of perfectionism actually prevents and stymies our falling into the arms of our Mercy-Full God and experiencing a feeling no words can communicate. The arms of Our Prodigal Father are always open, but where are we? No matter where we are, Our God is always "well pleased" in us, as beloved daughter/son. This love is always moving towards us to comfort, soothe and strengthen us. Thanks be to our Higher Power we are not seen the way we see ourselves and others see us. We are always in the process of getting our lenses tweaked, so that we can have the sight to see ourselves as our Gracious Father/Mother sees us. What a gift that would be to see ourselves as we are seen by our Creator, Who loves all that has been created. No exceptions !!!!!
The gospel passage we are reflecting on (are you still with me?) really tweaked our lenses. It has broadened our understanding of Shalom. It has revealed The Risen Christ is not bound by the ordinary rules of nature. He appears and disappears on the two disheartened disillusioned disciples whom He surprised on the road to Emmaus. That is why when it comes to the spiritual life one is not bounded by time and space. God Supreme Being cannot be defined by our words or thoughts. How often have I read, what we know about God is NOT God, it is what we do not know is God. We must enter the cloud of unknowing. That took some time, as has a lot of spiritual realities to sink into my understanding. The more I learn the more I find out I do not have a clue about that which is essential. We left The Risen Christ standing in the midst of His once dispirited disciples. Now there is joy because He Who was crucified, died and buried is now alive and back in their company. In that first appearance, the company is missing Thomas. That leads to difficulties. We read he has real difficulty in getting his head around the unbelievable fact that their Master Who was crucified and known to have died and was buried, in a guarded tomb is, now alive. No way this could have happened, he wanted proof. So The Risen One appears again and Thomas is present.
To be continued...