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Center for Action and Contemplation

Jesus: Human and Divine: Weekly Summary

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Jesus: Human and Divine

Summary: Sunday, March 15-Friday, March 20, 2015
(Saturday, March 21, 2015 — Equinox)

In letting go of your shame, guilt, and powerlessness, you do not lose yourself, but fall into your foundational and grounded self. (Sunday)

The shape of God is the shape of reality, and the shape of reality is the shape of God. The Trinity clarifies that God is a fountain fullness of outflowing love. (Monday)

There is much less need to “prove” that Jesus is God (which of itself asks nothing of us); our deep need is to experience the same unitive mystery in ourselves and in all of creation—“through him, with him, and in him.” (Tuesday)

All of creation has a cruciform pattern. It is a “coincidence of opposites” (St. Bonaventure), a collision of cross-purposes, waiting for resolution—in us. (Wednesday)

The Word (the theory, the theology) became “flesh” because words can’t get you there, only experience can. (Thursday)

Jesus did not come to change the mind of God about humanity (it did not need changing)! Jesus came to change the mind of humanity about God. (Friday)


Practice: Eucharist

T. S. Elliot said in the Four Quartets, “[Human]kind cannot bear very much reality.” What humans often prefer are highly contrived ways of avoiding the real, the concrete, the physical. We fabricate artificial realities instead, one of which, I’m sad to say, is religion itself. So Jesus brought all of our fancy thinking down to earth, to one concrete place of incarnation—this bread and this cup of wine! “Eat it here, and then see it everywhere,” he seems to be saying. If it’s too idealized and pretty, if it’s somewhere floating around up in the air, it’s probably not the Gospel. We come back, again and again, to this marvelous touchstone of orthodoxy, the Eucharist. The first physical incarnation in the body of Jesus is now continued in space and time in ordinary food.

Eucharist is presence encountering presence—mutuality, vulnerability. There is nothing to prove, to protect, or to sell. It feels so empty, naked, and harmless, that all you can do is be present. The Eucharist is telling us that God is the food and all we have to do is provide the hunger. Somehow we have to make sure that each day we are hungry, that there’s room inside of us for another presence. If you are filled with your own opinions, ideas, righteousness, superiority, or sufficiency, you are a world unto yourself and there is no room for “another.” Despite all our attempts to define who is worthy and who is not worthy to receive communion, our only ticket or prerequisite for coming to Eucharist is hunger. And most often sinners are hungrier than “saints.”

When I hand out the bread I love to say to the assembly, “You become what you eat. Come and eat who you are!”

Gateway to Silence:
Jesus came to show God’s Love.

Adapted from Eucharist as Touchstone (CD, MP3 download)

For Further Study:
Eucharist as Touchstone (CD, MP3 download)
Hell, no! (CD, MP3 download)

Image credit: Christ surrounded by angels and saints (detail). Mosaic of a Ravennate italian-byzantine workshop, completed within 526 AD by the so-called “Master of Sant’Apollinare,” Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna, Italy.
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