You can only be who you are by sharing who you are. C:31.17
Today is Easter. It’s early evening and I sit looking out the window on greening grass (where only days ago was snow), on a backlit sky, glowing with light (that eluded the day), and on the treetops across the freeway fence that are autumn gold in the spring light.
Already memories of Easter 2016 are filling me. Already, I’m finding the peace and quiet of an evening after a day of noise rejuvenating, calling to mind more than two-year-old Jack’s highly emotive (dramatic) nature, table conversation of old favorite movies, and the pleasure of sharing my family with Kathy Scott Perry and having “after the family left” conversation at the kitchen table.
My mind harkens back to early Mass, full of Alleluias, and the folks who don’t usually come to church, some of whom are fifty-year-old men that my mother barely remembers as little boys, men who come by to pay their respects.
Yet what is stuck in my memory is…and they did not understand. It was said at the end of John’s gospel: “they did not yet under the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead.” During the “boring” parts of the Mass, I often read ahead. I saw the phrase “they did not understand” again…and again. Despite all the signs, it took a while, even for those closest to Jesus, to understand what had just happened. In his sermon, our priest told of being called to the bedside of a parishioner who was dying. He stood with the grieving family. The man who was father and husband and brother was pronounced dead. They went outside the hospital room and the family collapsed into tears. They held each other. Then they were told, “We have a heartbeat.” The priest didn’t say how much longer the man lived. What he was speaking of was the shock.
I look out the window again and improbably pink clouds have lined up over the far trees.
No matter what revelations we receive, it seems to me that we grow into our time of understanding. There is, at some point…perhaps…a fullness of understanding, but even though we seem to like to imagine revelation coming in a flash of light, it seldom does. This Easter event that “changed everything”…and that symbolizes so much…even to our own resurrection in form, is as shocking to our systems as would be, “We have a heartbeat,” following a death.
It calls for us to be kind and patient with ourselves as we come to understand what we already, in some way “know” to be the truth. Being shocked or befuddled is a part of the condition of accepting that which changes everything. There are events in every life that change life in an instant. Death is the harshest of these changes. Births profoundly shift life in an almost opposite direction. Job losses, accidents, and even stunning successes can confound us for a while. Why wouldn’t our revelations that concern who we are in truth, also have this effect?
…and they did not understand…until they did.
31.9 Thus your confusion is also your key to understanding. . . . Being part of the whole that is your known universe has made you and no other being less consequential. All over the world people of good faith fight to save even one life. Each life is irreplaceable and no one argues this point, yet you allow yourself to resist the whole idea of God because you believe that what is one cannot also be many.
31.17 My dear brothers and sisters, what you truly are cannot be improved upon. But because you are in a state of unremembering, you must relearn who you are. You can only relearn who you are by being who you are. You can only be who you are by sharing who you are.
To come together to be and share who we are is to remember who we are, to invite giving and receiving as one, to invite revelation.
These need not be the coming together of big events. This can happen anywhere, any time. But if you’re interested in upcoming ACOL events, please visit: http://acourseoflove.com/events/