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SABBATH REFLECTION - Luke 21:5-19 17th November 2019 – 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Buddhists teach ‘impermanence’. Jesus teaches similar with material things in today’s Gospel. Science tells us that our Sun will itself die in about 7 or 8 billion years’ time. A sobering reminder indeed of our own impermanence. Yet Jesus teaches that Love is the Essence of all that is because God IS LOVE.

We put so much energy into ‘things’ that are perishable. Much of our lives are consumed with ‘things’ that can sap us of energy, that distract us, that frighten us, that divide us, that hurt us, that betray us, that set us up in opposition to each other, that imprison us. Yet we all also know the experiences of Love, that awaken us, that heal us, that nurtures us, that bring us together in the Spirit of Wholeness, that opens us to forgiveness, that fills our Hearts with Wisdom, that ultimately fills us with Life. All of us would know something of these two aspects of our lives. But which aspect are we more inclined to choose? Which aspect of our lives are we more inclined to listen to and to follow?

Do we choose that which constantly puts us up against each other or do we choose to ‘endure’ through the hardships that highlight our cultural and religious conformity and conditioning, and that bring us Life itself? Are we prepared to stand within the Truth, to endure ‘persecution’ in order to LIVE LIFE and not run away from it?

If we were asked to give a summary of our lives to this point, what would it look like? What would you write? More importantly, what would you SEE? Do we put energy into things that ultimately destroy us, or are our energies directed towards Love itself? These are challenging questions, but essential questions to ask and confront. Sometimes we can be so consumed by what has perhaps hurt us, betrayed us, divided us etc and we can keep fuelling this deadly fire to the point that it keeps destroying the very Life within us. There must come a time when we stop for a moment, and even if it feels impossible to move past our pain and suffering, to at least ask for the Grace to do so. It is this ASKING that becomes central to our healing. We can choose to remain locked into what is destroying our life or we can ask for the Grace to see beyond it, even when I might feel totally trapped within it. It is our CRY FOR HELP that will ultimately open our Hearts to the Love we ARE.

There is nothing more important than being in relationship with ourselves firstly (which means we are in relationship with God/Love) and then from there, with each other and with our Mother Earth and the Cosmos. This does not mean that we keep our mouths shut and strive for a sense of peace at any price. This is imprisonment. It means that we will have the courage to speak the truth in Love, that we will not demand that others think the way I do or my own little group does, or that everyone must come over to my way of thinking. This is absurd. But we must have the courage to speak the Truth in Love, however confronting it may be for ourselves and for others to hear. People may well not like what they hear, but nonetheless it must be spoken. Jesus spoke it and we still have enormous difficulty accepting Jesus’ teachings today – 2000 years later.

As our Faith grows, we learn to question ourselves, and the belief structures we have held sacred for most of our lives. We begin to see just how much energy we waste on what does not give us Life. And we begin to question many things around us. It can be a very fearful thing when we begin to question – we often don’t like it, but the questions keep rising within us and we can no longer ignore them or keep silent. It can feel as though our very foundations have become greatly unstable, and so they must if we are to grow in Love and Faith. Gone will be the days of conformity and blindly believing everything we are fed. Gone also will be the days when we thought personal vendettas and revenge and pay back are the accepted order of the day as our ego’s like to trick us into believing. We will feel ourselves being enveloped by Love and we will want Life for ourselves and for EVERYONE, not what keeps destroying Life. This is a journey of monumental proportions and we will often fall into old traps, but once we have truly TASTED this Life giving energy then we will brush ourselves off and ask for the Grace to continue.

This transformation has profound personal implications and also profound universal implications. ‘Our ‘endurance’ will win us our lives’ and it requires great ‘endurance’ because its Truth will not be easily received by many (including ourselves at times). We would rather remain in our ignorance convincing ourselves we are right and you are wrong, instead of just seeking Life and opening into Love’s Energy and Mystery.

Everything we put energy into that is not grounded in Love will perish. We were born mystics; we are mystics at Heart. Daniel O’Leary quotes Christopher Quark in The Astonishing Secret: ‘The mystic apprehends the cosmos as the meaningful manifestation of God.’ Page 96 It is our Life purpose to Live who we truly are – ‘meaningful manifestations of God’ along with everything else within the Cosmos. Are we open to such extraordinary seeing and understanding?

©Annemarie Reiner


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