by Stefan Davidovici, architect, Milano
by Stefan Davidovici, architect, Milano
By Richard Rohr, for Tuesday, April 23 2019
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but we have one who was like us in every way, experienced every temptation, and never backtracked. —Hebrews 4:15 (my translation)
Jesus walked, enjoyed, and suffered the entire human journey, and he told us and showed us that we could and should do the same. His life exemplified unfolding mystery in all of its stages—from a hidden, divine conception, to an ordinary adult life full of love and problems, punctuated by a few moments of transfiguration and enlightenment, inevitable and deep suffering—leading to resurrection, a glorious ascension, and final return.
We do not need to be afraid of the depths and breadths of our own lives, of what this world offers us or asks of us. We are given permission to become intimate with our own experiences, learn from them, and allow ourselves to descend to the depth of things, even our mistakes, before we try too quickly to transcend it all in the name of some idealized purity or superiority. God hides in the depths—even our sins—and is not seen as long as we stay on the surface of anything.
The archetypal encounter between doubting Thomas and the Risen Jesus (John 20:19-28) is not really a story about believing in the fact of the resurrection but a story about believing that someone could be wounded and also resurrected at the same time! That is quite a different message and still desperately needed. “Put your finger here,” Jesus says to Thomas (John 20:27). Like Christ, we are all indeed wounded and resurrected at the same time. In fact, this might be the primary pastoral message of the Gospel.
I’ve often said that great love and great suffering (both healing and woundedness) are the universal, always available paths of transformation because they are the only things strong enough to take away the ego’s protections and pretensions. Great love and great suffering bring us back to God, and I believe this is how Jesus himself walked humanity back to God. It is not just a path of resurrection rewards but a path that now includes death and woundedness. Or as I teach our Living School students, the sequence goes order —> disorder —> reorder!
Jesus the Christ, in his crucifixion and resurrection, “summed up all things in himself, everything in heaven and everything on earth” (Ephesians 1:10). This one verse is the summary of Franciscan Christology. Jesus agreed to carry the mystery of universal suffering. He allowed it to change him (“resurrection”) and, it is to be hoped, us, so that we would be freed from the endless cycle of projecting our pain elsewhere or remaining trapped inside of it.
This is the fully resurrected life, the only way to be happy, free, loving, and therefore “saved.” In effect, Jesus was saying, “If I can trust it, you can too.” We are indeed saved by the cross—more than we realize. The people who hold the contradictions and resolve them in themselves are the saviors of the world. They are the only real agents of transformation, reconciliation, and newness.
Adapted from Richard Rohr, The Universal Christ: How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope For, and Believe (Convergent: 2019), 111-112, 147-148.
Image credit: The Resurrection, 1316-1321, The Church of Holy Savior in Chora, Istanbul, Turkey, Chora Museum, Ayhan Altun / Alamy Stock Photo.
„Dacă ne întreabă cineva : Oare ce este sigur, atât de sigur încât să-ţi poţi aşeza acolo cu încredere viaţa şi moartea, trebuie să fim în stare să răspundem : acest „ceva” este dragostea lui Hristos…
Viaţa ne învaţă că realitatea aceasta mai presus de orice nu în oameni o aflăm, nici măcar în cei mai buni şi cei mai dragi dintre ei; nu ne-o aduc nici ştiinţa, filosofia, arta ori alte produse ale geniului omenesc; nici natura, atât de profund înşelătoare, nici timpul şi nici destinul…
Numai dragostea lui Hristos merită încredere…
Căci numai prin Hristos cunoaştem că Dumnezeu ne iubeşte… Numai prin El aflăm că dragostea lui Dumnezeu merge până la iertare. Într-adevăr numai cele ce ni se arată pe Cruce sunt cu siguranţă adevărate: gândirea ce i-a umplut lui Iisus cugetul, sentimentele ce i-au umplut inima… acolo, în inima Lui, se află începutul şi sfârşitul a toate.”
Romano Guardini, „Domnul”
This is the day the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Dear Lord, risen Lord, light of the world, to you be all praise and glory! This day, so full of your presence, your joy, your peace, is indeed your day.
I just returned from a walk through the dark woods. It was cool and windy, but everything spoke of you. Everything: the clouds, the trees, the wet grass, the valley with its distant lights, the sound of the wind. They all spoke of your resurrection; they all made me aware that everything is indeed good. In you all is created good, and by you all creation is renewed and brought to an even greater glory than it possessed at its beginning.
As I walked through the dark woods at the end of this day, full of intimate joy, I heard you call Mary Magdalene by her name and heard how you called from the shore of the lake to your friends to throw out their nets. I also saw you entering the closed room where your disciples were gathered in fear. I saw you appearing on the mountain and at the outskirts of the village. How intimate these events really are. They are like special favors to dear friends. They were not done to impress or overwhelm anyone, but simply to show that your love is stronger than death.
O Lord, I know now that it is in silence, in a quiet moment, in a forgotten corner that you will meet me, call me by name and speak to me a word of peace. It is in my stillest hour that you become the risen Lord to me.
Dear Lord, I am so grateful for all you have given me this past week. Stay with me in the days to come. Bless all who suffer in this world and bring peace to your people, whom you loved so much that you gave your life for them. Amen.
Et la maison fut remplie de l’odeur du parfum. Jean, 12, 3
Méditation de fr. Bernard Sennelle, dominicain, Paris
Ce matin, nous pouvons dire : « Notre foi nous a sauvés ! » Mais « si le Christ n’est pas ressuscité, vide alors est notre message, vide aussi notre foi ».* Ce cri de joie est le fondement du message chrétien. Si nous ne croyons pas en la résurrection, il reste peut-être une vision religieuse du monde, mais le message chrétien est mort. Nous sommes ressuscités avec le Christ, et ce matin, nous chantons Alléluia avec toute la Création.
Aujourd’hui, Dieu, comme aux premiers jours de la Genèse, s’est rendu présent dans un lieu informe et même vide. Nous en découvrons la trace. Le linceul est là, le linge qui a couvert la tête est roulé à part. Mais le corps du crucifié est absent.
Le Ressuscité a emporté le mal, la haine, la jalousie, la discorde, la guerre. Il fallait la Croix pour que l’Écriture s’accomplisse, mais aujourd’hui la lumière triomphe des ténèbres : c’est notre foi, nous voulons vivre.
En ce jour de la résurrection, Jésus sort vers l’immensité de Dieu et, de manière nouvelle et pour toujours, se rend présent à l’univers, hommes et bêtes, végétaux et minéraux, trous noirs et étoiles.
Christ est ressuscité et, sans le souci de Marie-Madeleine d’oindre le corps de Jésus, le récit se serait terminé sur la mort du Galiléen.
Marie-Madeleine, premier apôtre de la résurrection, s’approche de ce qui est mort en nous pour le parfumer de la bonne odeur de la foi. Son témoignage, premier maillon de la longue chaîne des disciples, entre doucement dans notre vie et ouvre un passage, une sortie vers la lumière. À travers les yeux du Ressuscité, elle perçoit nos ténèbres, les traces des blessures : elle voit et reconnaît en nous des frères, des sœurs.
C’est le désir de parfumer qui nous entraîne dans la course, car nous voulons donner au monde la bonne odeur du Christ. Il était souvent question de parfum ces derniers jours, notamment à Béthanie. Eh bien oui, le parfum est signe de la présence de Dieu, il chasse l’odeur de mort pour faire place à la vie, à la foi qui sauve et relève.
Christ est ressuscité, il est vraiment ressuscité ! Alléluia !
* Première lettre aux Corinthiens, ch. 15, v. 14
Prieur du couvent St Jacques à Paris, le frère Bernard travaille pour l’association DECERE à une réflexion sur la place des religions dans l’espace public en Europe. Il est également aumônier au Parlement européen.