Have you wondered why the apostles were unbelieving and fearful when they were told that Jesus’s body was not in the tomb and had risen from the dead? How could that be when they had spent a good 3 years with him, listening to everything he said and watching all that he did? He didn’t tell them about his death and resurrection only once either. So, what were the thoughts in their minds when he told them that?
Obviously, the real aspect of Jesus’ life, who he was and what he had to do, had been with other thoughts. When they met Jesus, they were sincerely captivated by him. And then when he chose them to follow him, they were really captivated by him! All of a sudden, they felt very important in a big cause, a cause that became bigger as the time passed.
Then came Palm Sunday! What a trip that had to have been. Here he was being proclaimed as Lord, Master and King, by hundreds of people, and given royal treatment as well. For them, that moment was fantastic because they were his closest companions, guaranteed to have an important role to play when he came into the kingdom. The trip became even more important when he arrived at the temple, the source of power and authority for the Jews. Surely, they must have felt that he was ready to walk in and take over. And they would have power like him. After all, we are told that he healed lots of people in the temple that day.
Unfortunately, their “good” feelings were not the same as those of Jesus.
His life was about love, being love, sharing love, and making sure that all knew that his Father was the same as he, one who loved everyone just as they were.
Obviously, they missed the point of the Prodigal Son and his Father. They missed the point of his Sermon on the Mount. They missed the point when he sent them out two by two to heal and share the Father’s love. The gospels are full of moments where they missed it. Their concern was “who would be the first among them when he came into power.”
We have suffered similar things in life. We start out our life captivated by our gifts and abilities, our talents and education, and feeling that we could “conquer the world.” And probably most of us did well both in our employment and falling in love. But then something happened.
We can call it the Midlife Crisis or whatever, but it was the moment when our good feelings of success began to collapse, when it seemed that our life up to that point was a failure. For many of us, our marriage ended, our work no longer satisfied us, we became depressed.
Those were similar feelings that the apostles had when Jesus was arrested, tortured and killed. They too were petrified as to what lay ahead for them. So, what was going wrong?
The ego of both of us was in a crisis. The “self” that both of us had developed so successfully had all of a sudden collapsed. There was nothing left. And our ego didn’t have the power that was needed to maintain whom we possessed ourselves to be who we were.
In the spiritual life, St Teresa of Avila called this experience the “Dark Night of the Senses,” the moment when the feelings of being important because of what we possessed were gone, leaving us with nothing to control and possession. And it was those things that gave us our self-awareness of being important.
We were engulfed in darkness because our ego had efficiently turned off the true “light” of who we are, namely children made to the image and likeness of our Heavenly Father and Mother Sophia. Our ego had done well in separating us from God and each other.
We forgot that we were united in Them, that we lived within Them, and that we were one with all of creation. We had placed God somewhere out in space and our brothers and sisters under our control. All was built on power, prestige and possessions.
Love was not the primary aspect of life. When it is, then absence will make the heart grow fonder!
The apostles spend Friday and Saturday well hidden and locked up in order to be sure that they too would not end up like Jesus. Even on Sunday when they met him face to face, they still didn’t believe enough to destroy all the ego fears within them. It took another 50 days before something happened that finally their old egoistical self and its use of the power to control things was transformed and healed. That event was Pentecost, the moment in their lives when they were lost in a divine love experience that removed all the negativity within them. No longer did they fear life nor failure. They were now in love again, and a whole new life was before them.
The same happened and happens to each of us when we find our true inner self, that divine love that we are. The experience of it gives us a new profound life. We know this reality on the human level. And it is the same experience on the spiritual level. Only unconditional love opens a new door of living with all its joy and happiness.
No longer do we live two separate lives, one physical and the other spiritual. No, there is only one life. What is lived on the one level is lived the same way on the other, and vice versa. It is the same. We, the person, are the same and we are One as we live the integrated divine life within.
There came a day in my life when I became aware that I had never experienced a love relationship with God that was even close to any kind of love experience between human beings. And I had given my whole life to God. I felt so cheated that I told my Heavenly Father that He had better produce now, or I was leaving because He didn’t exist as a God of love, and I was not about to spend my life without experiencing deep love. My words came from my gut from a strong anger of hurt. The next three nights He awoke me with a love experience, that was so powerful, that I was sure it had to be sinful. As a result, I did not give in to it at all. In truth, I ignored it.
On the fourth evening I went to a prayer meeting.
During the prayer meeting the same experience began to well up in me, but before I could jump into self-protection, a man in the back of church shouted, “My son, that which is overflowing in you like sweet honey is my love for you. But it is not just for you. This is how I want to love all my children.”
That did it! The feeling within disappeared and I was lost in the awareness that He had answered my demand. Yes, those experiences were greater than any human love experience. My fears were gone!
And the fears that the apostles had were gone on Pentecost Sunday as well. All caused by a Love experience.
And, they will be gone from us when we are open and willing to accept our failures, the Dark Night, and face the ego that wants to keep us from accepting the love that we truly are! This is our blessing of the resurrection! Love unites us always, especially, a love experience from our beloved Father, Mother and Brother Jesus. It will always raise us up from the dead! Let us rejoice and be glad, Alleluia!!!
April 21, 2019