Sunday 2-19-2023, A reflection on building bridges.

Happy Sunday!

Jesus is a person and, at the same time, a process. Jesus is the Son of God, but at the same time he is “the Way.” Jesus is the goal, but he’s also the means, and the means is always the way of the cross. ~ 2-19-2023

The daily meditation from CAC and Fr. Richard really spoke to me this morning. I think there is something that wants to develop in my mind on this so I’m going to reflect to following where my thoughts take me.

In the CAC email, Fr. Richard explained how Christianity misses the message Jesus gave us.

“We want the ‘person’ of Jesus as our ‘God token’ but we really do not want his path or message.”

He said that the message was one of building bridges between seeing two sides to everything, a standard trait for us humans – a bridge between ‘us versus them’ for us to be reconcilers.

“The price is that we will always, like all bridges, be walked on from both sides. Reconcilers are normally ‘crucified’ and the ‘whole world hates them’ because they are neither on one side nor the other.”

As a young adult, I was quick to take sides on things. I see my behavior today as more neutral, not wanting to take sides or to be involved with any conflict. I don’t associate with a religion or a political party. I’m no longer nationalistic. When I think back to the times I spoke out for my group, it was always those large social groups that my voice defended: my country, my religion, my party. Those declarations separated me from others and even, sometimes, initiated hate within me.

Stay Local

Recently P., who does great work in helping mental health issues in our community, mentioned a dilemma — he would like to help more of the world. I told him that when I am not understanding my role, I bring my thoughts back to the metaphor of the body representing humanity. I reflected that if a person is a cell in the body of humanity, say a liver cell, is it good if it decides that it wants to manage all of the cells in the brain? Recalling this conversation now has me wondering if we need to stay local with our caring attention.

Do My Part

My thoughts next go to my study of the Enneagram and Ennea type 9, the peacemaker. This type’s immature trait is to be lazy, but they can rise to act efficiently when motivated by the group. Nines are sensitive to everyone’s needs and want to avoid conflict, so they take part for the success of the group. Because they have little self interest to defend, and see the needs of others, they are good negotiators, reconcilers … peacemakers. If we as individuals do our part, like a liver cell within our home organ, do we not aid and improve our local space?

Where is the Love?

The whole of our system needs Love, but how to do we get it flowing to all our parts?

In the last presidential election, Marianne Williamson tried to bring a platform of Love to the national political arena. My recollection is that she was thought of as a crazy person for bringing all political questions (of the time) back to the most loving solution. I mention this as a sign that perhaps we are not ready to Love at the scale of our big systems.

If we look at the large influences on the world made by the big religions, we don’t see Love (I’m thinking of holy wars, the Crusades, the Inquisition, witch trials, to name a few). But, when we look at smaller faith communities, from the different religions, here we see Love in action. (I think of church communities who support refugees, feed the hungry in their community, come to the aid of disaster victims, as well as those who provide spiritual and mental health counseling.)

The body of humanity.

Recently in my body I observed a problem with my liver causing distress in my gut (which then upset the mood of Tricia). This is one body so I can’t have parts, like my gut decide, to retaliate against my liver.

A decade or so ago, my action would have been to go to a doctor, who would then just focus on my gut as though it were separate from the rest of the body. Today, I am aware of the wholeness, and sacredness, of the body. How to we get to this, as humanity, to see all peoples as part of one whole organism? Do we have to suffer affliction to the whole body (such as a pandemic) to see we are all connected?

Or can the raising of consciousness of the whole, through true loving acts on the local level be the way?

This, I believe, was Christ’s message. Jesus asked us to love one another, to care for the poor and sick. His example was to love and care for others and to reject the calls for him to civic leadership positions.

How blessed (or “happy”) are the poor in spirit; the kingdom of Heaven is theirs. —Matthew 5:3

“Poor in spirit” means an inner emptiness and humility, a beginner’s mind, and to live without a need for personal righteousness or reputation.” Daily Meditations, 1-30-2018

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