Through Christ’s revelation to us, God wills that we realize our personalities in, with, and for the world as one Body, a humankind enmeshed together on a precarious but interestingly mysterious journey through our planet’s history. The path to a Christian intimacy of purpose with others is our behaving in ways that manifest the dignity we each possess as we are alive together in the universe.
Each corporate entity of us is a little church (Peter Damien). The ordinary tasks through which we serve one another are God’s provisions for our becoming awake to the joy of being alive together. When we drive a taxi or asphalt a road, when we form a chorus line to dance, or a choir to sing, we are creating a climate of moral entanglement of mutual love and respect that is at the ground of our human lives.
In intercessory prayers for our intimates and extended families, for the people who collect our garbage and make our sandwiches, we literally form websites of human truth, goodness, and beauty through which everything is becoming one Body. We believe that the Holy Spirit in Christ generates the ground of all our community relationships.
When the Lord called Lazarus from the tomb, did Lazarus come forth to stare into his Lord’s face who raised him up, or did his opened eyes immediately search out the faces of Martha and Mary? Jesus withdrew his company from Lazarus’s new life. He had to be about his Father’s business in Jerusalem. Only Martha and Mary would peel away their brother’s burial shroud and make him supper.
Through the Holy Spirit, only from one another’s hands do we actually receive the nourishment we need not only just to exist, but to taste and hear the Voice of Love which empowers us to raise one another in Christ from the dead.
“This is our glory and our hope”, Thomas Merton wrote, “we are the body of Christ. Christ loves us and espouses us as His own flesh. That should be enough for us, but we do not really believe it. Be content. Be content: we are the Body of Christ. We have found Him; He has found us. We are in Him; He is in us. There is nothing further to look for except the deepening of this life we already possess. Be content” (A Search for Solitude, p. 70).
May our spiritual exercises during Lent deepen our conscious dependence on one another as we become more deeply human beings. We actually see God as the ground of our love and our relationships only as we look to recognize God’s face shining forth from one another’s eyes.
By Jonathan Montaldo