Br. Bernard Delcourt, OHC
Easter 4 C - May 12, 2019
Who we are is who we are in the ever-active Creator. That is our meaning and our identity. Jesus says to his listeners, “The Father and I are one.”
And this Oneness is the model of who we are too. In this Season of Easter can we awaken to this everlasting truth? Christ gives us eternal life, and we will never perish. No one will snatch us out of His hand.
Further in the gospel according to John, Jesus says:
“The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:22-23)
The three persons of the Trinity are not self-standing and smugly independent of one another. They are inter-dependent. They are in a relationship. That relationship is one of continuous self-emptying and of creative outpouring of love. The three persons of the Trinity are not independent beings. They are One.
Neither are we Humans independent beings. Nor is any part of creation an independent being. All Creation exists in radical relationship; from galaxies to sub-atomic particles.
We are all unique and differentiated, yes.
Yet we don’t exist outside of relationship with everyone else and everything else in the universe. We are One.
To the Western mind, it is so important to be self-made and independent. Our ego likes that idea and is attached to all sorts of stories that tell how different my being is; how I am separate;
how I am better than that mineral, that plant, that animal,
how I am better than those other human beings.
The Oneness of all is a challenging concept to the ego. That is one of the reasons contemplative prayer is a helpful mode of growing spiritually. It calms the ego and can give the soul an experience of oneness.
Our personal relationship with God is important, for sure. But that relationship to be truly with God cannot isolate us. We cannot be in relationship with God entirely on our own. We are in God relationship within communities. And ultimately, our communities, in concentric circles englobe this whole planet and this whole universe.
The essence of God is Being. I Am that I Am. Each creation is a unique manifestation of beingness. Each of us is a manifestation of the divine.
And yet, we are One in God, as Jesus and his Father are One, as Jesus is in each of us, and the Father is in Jesus. We can say I am with I Am.
God is. And God is relationship itself. With Richard Rohr, I would name salvation as simply the readiness, the capacity, and the willingness to stay in relationship.
As long as you show up with some degree of vulnerability, the Spirit can keep working.
Self-sufficiency makes God experience impossible! That’s why Jesus showed up in this world as a naked, vulnerable one, a defenseless baby lying in the place where animals eat.
Talk about utter relationship! Naked vulnerability means I’m going to let you influence me; I’m going to allow you to change me.
In the life of Jesus, God shows us how willing God is to relate with us as we humans are. And Christ is in relationship with each one of us as we are. There are no conditions on this relatedness. It is. But we get to choose how active we are in this God relationship.
The Way of Jesus is an invitation to a Trinitarian way of living, loving, and relating — on earth as it is in the Godhead. Self-emptying and outpouring love.
We are intrinsically like the Trinity, living in absolute relatedness. To choose to stand outside of this Flow is the deepest and most obvious meaning of sin. Do I choose to neglect my relationship with God or do I willingly and actively engage in this Flow?
We call that Flow Love. We really were made for love, and outside of it our souls wither very quickly.
Father, Mother, help us to learn and to live that we are One, as You are One;
help us know of your presence in us;
help us keep giving consent to your action in us;
Help us do the works that we do in Your name, that we may testify to You in our being, in our doing (and sometimes even in our speaking).