Too often we seem to think or believe that the Spirit really only ‘arrived on the scene’ at Pentecost, that only through Jesus’ death, the Spirit could then ‘come’. What is perhaps more accurate is that WE (the cosmic/human story) were, only through Jesus, able to RECEIVE the Spirit that had always been present from the beginning of time, that Jesus revealed to us, but we were asleep to its reality. We were not conscious of this profound truth until Jesus revealed to us what ALREADY WAS and ALWAYS HAD BEEN. Pentecost is really a celebration of US coming into deeper consciousness – awakening to the unfolding Spirit of Love. Jesus was the first to awaken, from within our evolving cosmic story, to the evolving nature of the Christ that permeates the whole cosmos.
Judy Cannato in her book ‘FIELD OF COMPASSION – How the New Cosmology is Transforming Spiritual Life’ gives us some glimpses (often greatly challenging for those of us with a static religious/world view point) into the unfolding of the Spirit continually breathing life into the cosmos. Here is a taste:
‘The Second Vatican Council recognised the impact of the Universe Story: “And so (humankind) substitutes a dynamic and more evolutionary concept of nature for a static one, and the result is an immense series of new problems calling for a new endeavour of analysis and synthesis” (Guadium et Spes 5)’ Page 42
‘Rahner (Prominent Vatican 11 theologian and much more) was unafraid to pose questions about the compatibility of Christianity with an evolutionary view of the world and to ask whether modern thought had made Christianity obsolete. Aware of developments in science, he sought to integrate the notion of an evolving universe, which he acknowledged as “a given,’ with the central tenets of Christian faith.’ Page 46
‘The entire history of creation is characterized by evolution of matter, the process by which life becomes ever more conscious. This capacity to become more is what Rahner calls “active self-transcendence,” and it is characteristic of all creation, not just the human. Incomprehensible holy mystery manifests as a continuous creative presence in the cosmos, enabling transcendence to occur because each created reality has within itself the potential to evolve into something more.. But with the evolution of the human, a quantum leap of consciousness occurred. Grounded in biological evolution, we are material creatures who have come to an awareness of both our materiality and our otherness. Besides being material beings, we are also spirit.' Page 48
‘The development toward the human is the development toward spirit. Spirit is the goal of nature, and nature finds itself in spirit. The cosmos becomes aware of itself in the human, and thus “in the individual person and in the action and activity of the human race” we find the “recapitulating self-presence of the whole or of the cosmos.” (Quotation: Rahner – Foundations of Christian Faith 189) Page 51
‘Jesus, then, must be “truly (human), truly a part of the earth, truly a moment in this world’s biological process of becoming, a moment in (humanity’s) natural history.” (Quotation: Rahner – Foundations of Christian Faith)
He is a human person “who just like us receives in his spiritual, human, and finite subjectivity the self-communication of God in grace.” (Quotation: Rahner – Foundations of Christian Faith). Rather than a divine intervention into human history, the Incarnation is the inevitable result of the evolutionary process, of matter evolving toward spirit from the very beginning.’ Page 54
‘Thus in Jesus we have a complete unity between God’s offer of grace and humanity’s acceptance of that offer. In this way Jesus is both the experience of the fullness of God and the fullness of humanity. Both realities converge and unite in this human person.’ Page 55
‘While Jesus was the evolutionary first, those who follow after him must enter into the process of accepting as fully as they can the divine self-communication that is at the heart of evolutionary history and human life. In this sense “the Christ” is not a reference to a person, but to a kind of consciousness that is resonant with the Spirit and expresses itself in freedom and love. The empowerment to Christ consciousness came through the experience we refer to as the resurrection.’
Richard Rohr’s latest book: THE UNIVERSAL CHRIST, says: ‘Many are still praying and waiting for something that has already been given to us three times: first in creation; second in Jesus, “so that we could hear him, see him with our eyes, watch him, and touch him with our hands, the Word who is life.” (1 John 1-2); and third, in the ongoing beloved community (what Christians call the Body of Christ), which is slowly evolving throughout all of human history… Ironically, millions of the very devout who are waiting for the ‘Second Coming” have largely missed the first – and the third! I’ll say it again: GOD LOVES THINGS BY BECOMING THEM.’ Page 20
Pentecost is a UNIVERSAL celebration of us coming into Holy Consciousness, whereby we can NOW RECEIVE the Spirit that hungers for our full participation in this unfolding Love, in this unfolding cosmos, ‘that has been evolving toward Spirit from the very beginning’. This Christ Spirit, in and through and with Jesus WILL TEACH US EVERYTHING. ‘If you love me you will keep my commandments...’ The commandment is to grow in Love. When we truly Love, when we are truly just, when we are truly compassionate without exclusion, we are loving the Christ and being awakened by the Spirit. This Spirit is eternally given. Today’s Feast, is begging us to consciously open our minds and hearts to the profound Mystery we are. Will we allow this Spirit to ‘teach us’ and ‘remind’ us of who we truly are – The Cosmic Christ Bearers?
© Annemarie Reiner