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The Coincidence of the Spiritual and the Material

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Jesus: The Christ

The Coincidence of the Spiritual and the Material
Monday, March 23, 2015

If you had been present at the moment of the Resurrection, what would you have seen? If there had been a video camera outside the tomb, what would it have recorded? Perhaps there would have been a huge flash of light or a subtle glimmer of a dimension beyond our usual perception. At the Resurrection, we believe the historical body of Jesus moved beyond any confinement of space and time. The presence which was captured in finite form was revealed to be an infinite omnipresence. He moved from Jesus to Christ, which now includes in its sweep all of creation and even you and me. The texts all agree that this movement had a physical dimension to it, but it is a new kind of embodiment that is both of this world and yet not limited by it. Thanks to Einstein, we now know that matter and energy are convertible forces.

Whenever the material and the spiritual coincide, there is the Christ. Jesus accepted that full identity and walked it into history. He was fully human and fully divine at the same time. So now we can begin to imagine how they could coexist. The material and the spiritual are one, the human and the divine are forever, the physical plumbed to its depth finds transcendence! The hiding place of God is also the place of revelation—here and now and everywhere. This is an utterly new notion of religiosity, so much so that most of Christian history (Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, or Pentecostal) missed this major point and lived in a split universe.

The mystery of Christ is revealed, and the Christ “comes again,” whenever you are able to see the spiritual and the material coexisting, in any moment, in any event, and in any person. God’s hope for history seems to be that humanity will one day be able to recognize its dignity as the divine dwelling place, which it shares with the rest of creation. I don’t know when it will happen or what it will look like to reach the tipping point, for the Christ Mystery to come to fullness. All I know is that this meaning, planted in the middle of things, was meant to give humanity both direction and immense confidence. I suspect “the Second Coming of Christ” happens whenever and wherever we allow this to be utterly true for us. We’re still living in the in-between right now, slowly edging forward, with much resistance. As it says in Romans 8:22-23, creation is “groaning in anticipation,” or as one translation states, “We are standing on tiptoe waiting for the revelation of the sons and daughters of God.” I hope such implanted hope gets your whole life up on its toes!

Gateway to Silence:
In Christ, we become God’s Love.

Reference:
Adapted from The Cosmic Christ (CD, MP3 download)

Image Credit: The Cosmic Christ (detail) by Sr. Nancy Earl, © 2008, CAC archives
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