June 26th, 1986, Serial No. 00610

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Om Namah Krishnaya [...] of the exact significances, the message is the same as he was giving to the twelve. And Jesus sends out his disciples with this call to him, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. And in one sense, one can say that he was concerned with this coming doom on Jerusalem. He saw that the choice was before them, they could open themselves to this message of God and be saved, or they could be exposed to the doom which was coming, which he foresaw


and which actually took place only a seventy few years later. And in a sense that's the situation we're always in, that this world is doomed and today we know we're under the threat of extinction all the time. And at the same time, this message of salvation comes and this kingdom of God is near or is at hand. And this is the sort of dual world in which we live. On one side there is sin, there is evil, there is death, there is destruction, it's taking place all the time. And on the other side there is grace, there is salvation, there is love, there is truth, which is present also in the midst of it all. And really, conversion is this discernment of this kingdom of God, this grace of God, in the midst of the world. Something which is to be fulfilled in time, but which is already present.


And that really is the message of the Gospel, that we try to discern this new creation in the midst of the old. You know, the Lord says, I am crucified to this world. We die to this present world, which itself is dying, which is doomed to destruction. Then we await to the new world, the new creation, where we see how the presence of God in the midst of it all, behind all the sin and the evil and misery of the world, there is this hidden presence, this mystery of the kingdom of God. And we have to find it in ourselves, in our own lives, there's so much conflict, there's so much evil also. But in the midst of it, there is this hidden presence, the presence of Christ within. And that is the message of the Gospel, really, this hidden mystery. The kingdom of God is a mystery. And I think that's what the world today needs to discover. Because when you try to live in this world alone and have your hopes in this world, as St. Paul said, you're the most miserable of men, because there is no final result here at all.


You may build up something good, but something evil comes to destroy it. We're always in the midst of those dualities. And then, behind it all and within it all, to discover that there is a presence. I think the way Mother Teresa speaks of this hidden presence of Jesus, Jesus in disguise in the poor and the sick, but also in the evil people. It was a great insight that when you get an evil person, poor person doing what is evil, it's still its God in disguise. There was a hidden presence in the midst of all evil. So really, we all have to ask to be awake to this hidden mystery in our lives. We have to discover it in ourselves. Behind all the conflicts, confusion in our own life, there is a hidden mystery of the kingdom of God, the presence of Christ within. And when we awake to that, then we're set free. Then we experience this inner freedom, this inner joy. So we all have to ask for that grace of conversion, which has to take place day by day.


And when we assemble for the Eucharist, we come to renew that conversion, to run away from the world with all its problems and its sin, and discover within the world this hidden mystery of the presence of Christ, of God, and the kingdom of God. So we ask for this grace for ourselves, for the Church as a whole, and for the whole world. Discover that beyond all its miseries and suffering, there is already a presence, this mystery. And when we awake to that, then we have liberation, and we have Laksha, and we have salvation. This letter to the Second Letter to Corinthians brings out some false mystical theology. He had this theology which arose from his experience, his day-by-day experience. But it was developed with wonderful insight and imaginative insight.


Last time we noticed this imagery of eggs being written on the heart. And now he gives a very wonderful insight into this mystery of God's revelation. Where he compares this light which was given to Moses with the light which has come to us in Christ. So he says, "...if the dispensation of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such splendor, the Israelites could not look at Moses' face, because of its brightness, fading as it was, but not the dispensation of the Spirit, the attempt with greater splendor." He's comparing the old covenant with Moses, with the new covenant in Christ. And as you know, after Moses had been with God on Mount Sinai,


his face was seen to shine. And he had to put a veil over his face, people couldn't look on it. And this is a phenomenon which is not unknown in many places. But a person who's had a deep experience of God, his face shines. Famous example is St. Seraphim of Sarov, a Russian saint. And the description, he lived in a hut in the forest. And a disciple came to speak with him once, and they were talking together in the snow. And Seraphim put his hands on his shoulders and said, look at my face. And he looked at it, and it was like the sun. His eyes couldn't bear to look at it, it was so bright. So Moses had this brightness. Same, of course, as the transfiguration. Jesus was totally transfigured, and this light radiated from him. And yet, St. Paul says, this was all the dispensation of, what does he call it, of death. It's a little exaggeration. But he looks on the old law.


You see, it's ultimately a law which brought death. It condemned you, it said do not do this, do not do that. But he didn't give you the means to fulfill it. And therefore, he sees the dispensation of death. And yet, it had this splendor. I forget the word for splendor. I think it's the same as glory. And the glory of God is always this radiance of the divine being. It's this manifestation of the divine. So this splendor is really this radiance of God. For if there was splendor in the dispensation of condemnation, the law condemned man because of sin, the dispensation of righteousness was far exceeded in splendor. And indeed, what once had splendor has come to have no splendor at all. He takes this very negative view of the old law, the old covenant. Mind you, he's trying to set people free, the church free from the dominion of the law. And he has, in a sense, to put it down, to negate it.


And so he doesn't see, or at least he doesn't mention here, the very positive aspects of the law, which still remains, of course. Love of God, love one's neighbor is behind the whole law. But he sees it as this negative aspect, telling you what you ought to do, but not giving you the means to do it. And therefore he says this, though it had a certain splendor before, now it has none. It's lost its glory and it's been superseded because of the splendor that surpasses it. For if what faded away came with splendor, what is burned must have much more splendor. Emphasizing the glory, the splendor in the new covenant, in the gospel. And I think we have to remind ourselves the gospel gets too familiar to us. We read it and we hear about it and we think about it, and it gets sort of spoiled in the process. And we have to renew our vision continually and see what an amazing revelation it is. Revelation is an unveiling of God, you see,


and it comes to us as a manifestation of the glory. And later on, there's a wonderful passage where he speaks of seeing the light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. So all through this, he's bringing on this greatness to the divine glory. And revelation is God manifesting himself in this world, and light or glory or splendor is one of the great manifestations of God. So that's the main theme now, which he takes up and develops. Amazingly, through this thought of Ambrose, the woman with hemorrhage comes along with three Gnostic Gospels with slight variations. And obviously, they had a great meaning for the early church. There's a great meaning for us. And I don't think it's primarily simply that the miracle that Jesus, he raises his child from death or that he heals that woman.


And these are much more signs. St. John calls the miracles of Jesus signs. And obviously, there were millions of people with disease. He didn't cure the vast majority of people who die, and he doesn't raise from the dead. But these miracles are intended to be signs that there is a power in the world which is manifested in Jesus, which has power over disease and has power over death. And that's what we really need to know. Sometimes people are cured in this world of disease, and it's a great blessing when it happens. But it's not everything, because after all, even when they've been cured, they're going to die afterwards. In the same way, somebody may be raised from the dead. It occurs even now. St. Barbara is said to have raised somebody from the dead. But they're going to die again, just as Lazarus died again. And Jesus doesn't come simply to heal diseases or to get rid of death in that way,


but to reveal this power of God, which is beyond disease and beyond death. And that is a promise for all of us. Not that we should be free from disease or free from death, but that there is something beyond disease and death which is given to us. And the mystery of the gospel is this gift of eternal life, which transcends disease and suffering and death and takes us to the fulfillment of human existence. And we can't look for it in this world, you see. I think it's mistaken to think that... Well, I must have seen both sides. I mean, Jesus does certainly give a power to heal disease. And it's often been found in the saints, it's present in the church. And we can say also that the power of medicine to heal disease is a blessing from God. And same way that some people may be saved from death is also a fact.


But this is not the end. These have their value, you see, and we mustn't despise them. But we mustn't make that the goal, as though the whole purpose of Christian life and the church was to heal people from disease or save people from death. It doesn't do either. But it does give this confidence. And faith has that confidence that beyond disease and death, there is this eternal life, which is total freedom from disease, from suffering, from death. Total freedom and total love, total fulfillment. And that's what the gospel offers us, total human fulfillment, in a way beyond our imagination, but nevertheless real, because we know it in Jesus. In him we see that total fulfillment of human nature, human nature filled with the power of God and freed from sin and from death and from disease. So I think we all need to reflect on this gift of the gospel which is given us,


which we are all called to experience in our lives and which is taking us to a final fulfillment. And Paul goes on to develop this symbolism about the veil, the first face of Moses shone when he came down from the mountain. And when he spoke to the people, he put a veil over it. And he uses this as a metaphor, a symbol. We are very bold, not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so the Israelites might not see the end of the fading splendor, the splendor of the end of the world. But their minds were hardened. To this day, when they read the old covenant, the same veil remains uplifted, unlifted because only through Christ is it taken away. So he turns this into a metaphor, an image, that when the Old Testament was read by the Jew, the veil remained over his eyes


so that he couldn't see the truth in it. And only when the truth is revealed, which is Christ, could the real meaning be revealed. And the Christian idea always is that the deepest meaning of the Old Testament would be found in Christ. But of course, we would have to acknowledge that there is a very deep meaning to be found by the Jew. The Jew today still finds the found meaning in the Old Testament and finds God in it. But a new revelation was made in Christ and the Old Testament got a new meaning for the Christian. And then he makes a rather strange point. The Lord is the Spirit. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. This has caused a lot of problems. People thought they were confusing two persons in the Trinity. But Paul's language is much freer than that. And what he means is that the meaning of the Old Testament is to be found in Christ, in the Lord. And that is the spiritual meaning of the Old Testament.


The spiritual meaning, the Spirit in the Old Testament. The letter is to be found in Christ, in the Lord. And of course, it's always true. Whenever we read one of these scriptures, we have to see beyond the words to the Word, to the Spirit of God, which is present. The same in the Vedas. They often say you could learn all the Vedas, Sanskrit and so on. But if you don't know the Spirit in which the Vedas were written, you don't understand the Vedas. So with the Bible, if you don't know the Spirit in which the Bible is written, you don't understand it. And for the Christian, it's to see Christ in the scriptures is to have this spiritual insight. And we all, with unveiled faces, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into His likeness from one degree of glory to another. You know what I call St. Paul's mystical insight. You see, it's a marvelous understanding when we read the scriptures with unveiled face, when this veil of ignorance is taken away.


Then the scriptures reveal the glory of God. The glory, they say, is this radiance of divine truth. And so when we have this inner light of the Spirit, of faith, then we see the revelation of God in the Old Testament as well as in the New. And then we're changed into His likeness from one degree of glory to another. You see, when we read the scriptures in that spiritual understanding, it works an interior change in us. We can only understand, actually, the scripture when we have this interior revelation within. So the inner and the outer have to correspond. You can read the Bible with all the scholarship you like, but if you haven't got that inner insight, it comes from faith in the Spirit. You don't understand the Word. But when you have that inner light of the Spirit, then the glory is revealed. You discover God in the scripture. And that really is what we aim at all the time, to have that insight so that you discover


the inner meaning of the scripture. If we take the outer meaning, it's full of problems, and you can read all sorts of commentaries and get all sorts of ideas about it, and it can be useful as far as it goes. But the real intention in reading scripture is to discover the hidden sense which the Spirit is revealing to us. And that is revealed through the Spirit. Through the Spirit in us discovers the Spirit in the scriptures. So he says, this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. And I think the best understanding, the Lord is Christ who is the Spirit of the scriptures. The scriptures are concerned in revealing Him, and that is the Spirit Himself who is the revealer and the thing revealed. It's said that there was this dumb demoniac, and in the ancient world, the disease was always seen to be a spiritual disease. And today, of course,


we're discovering that disease is not merely physical, it's always psychophysical. And there is a spiritual aspect in all disease. And Jesus and his contemporaries were all aware of this, that it's not simply a physical ailment, it's a disorder of the whole person. And they attributed this to these spiritual powers. And they saw that in the world as a whole, there are no merely material things. Every material thing has a spiritual aspect. And consequently, they saw themselves surrounded by these spiritual powers, both for good and for evil. And Jesus was constantly aware of the presence of the angels when he was fasting in the desert, the angels were with him. When he was going to be to the passion, he said, if I had prayed the Lord, God would send me legions of angels. At the same time, he was aware of these demonic forces,


the evil angels, the evil powers, which are psychological forces which are always working in the world. And so he came to overcome these demonic forces, these powers of evil in the world. And all the gospels show us this power over evil spirits. And it's an illusion today. People imagine that the evil spirits don't exist and that it's all physical. You just go to the doctor and get some chemicals. This is a pure illusion. You see, all disease has this psychological aspect. As we know today, cancer has this definitely psychological aspect. Some people can be cured from cancer purely by psychological means. And so we're rediscovering the fact that there are these spiritual powers that work everywhere in the world, in nature around us, in human beings, and in collective forces. The powers of evil are present in all these collective forces of the world,


of political and economic forces. And all part of these spiritual powers are present in them. So Jesus came to overcome all these demonic forces in the world. And the people recognized him. They say, never was anything seen like this in Israel. But the Pharisees said, he casts out demons by the prince of demons. They all believed in these demonic forces. And they attributed Jesus' power simply to the fact that he had a stronger demon than the others. And this was, of course, a supreme example of rejection. They refused to recognize anything in and beyond this demonic. They saw him as evil. And that was a terrible thing, that they couldn't face the power of God in him and had to attribute it to Satan, to the power of evil. And this is the terrible rejection which Jesus experienced and, of course, it led eventually to the Passion. And then St. Matthew goes on to say,


he went to all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every infirmity. And his message was that this kingdom, this power of the Spirit had come into the world. In him, that power of the Spirit was present, which is stronger than all these spiritual powers around, all these demonic forces and all disease and infirmity. And he came to reveal this power. And then he sees the people like harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd, and sends out the apostles to help them. So that was the message of the gospel. And it still is today, that these powers of evil are present. And the great illusion today, you see, is people don't think those powers are there anymore. They think it's all superstition. These spiritual powers, it's just physical diseases. You heal them by taking medicines. And that is the great illusion which we need to overcome,


because it's frightening, damaging. It's totally false, this idea that disease is merely physical. And doctors are realizing it more and more. And we're discovering that this psychological aspect of disease and often simply a spiritual aspect. It's when we're disordered in thy psyche, when our whole personality is disorder, then we get these terrible diseases. And there are signs of this psychic disorder, and they can be healed. There are physical causes as well, of course. We have to attend to them. The doctor can help in his own way. But there are psychological causes which are much deeper, and those have to be healed also. And the power of the Spirit is present. Jesus came really to release that power of the Spirit in the world, to heal these diseases, both of body and of soul. So we need to try to realize this power of the Spirit which is in Christ and which is given to us.


We have that each one of us is given something of that power of the Spirit to be set free. But it has to grow. It's only a little seed in us usually. It has to grow and gradually take control. And of course, it's only in the resurrection that the power of the Spirit finally takes control. The resurrection, the body and soul of Jesus are totally transformed by the Spirit, no longer subject to death or anything. And that is also our destiny. In the end, we should also be transformed so that all these powers of evil are set free from them and we're the body and soul transformed by the Spirit at the saving goal of life. This reading today is perhaps the most profound of the sort of mystical theology of Saint Paul and well worth reflecting on.


He says, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart, we do not disgraceful underhand ways, refuse to practice cunning or tamper with the word of God. But by the open statement of the truth, we could commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. And that is important. It's recommending oneself to every man's conscience. It's that deep conscience in every person may be hidden and distorted very often, but there is always an inner light in people which can respond to the truth. And that is why humanity can progress because there is an awareness of truth. And it's amazing the way it spreads. I think it's very remarkable, for instance, that we're reading this life of Mother Teresa to see how she's won acceptance of all the world, all these religious leaders and all the political leaders, everybody, because everybody can recognize unselfish love when they see it.


And everybody appreciates it. They may not live it themselves, but they see the value of it. And there's something in the human heart which responds. So there's conscience which responds to truth. Then even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. In their case, the God of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel, the glory of Christ with the likeness of God. And you see, the conscience can become veiled. And in most people, it is. It's a little spark, and it's easily quenched, and it can grow, but it all can be very limited. And the God of this world are simply the habits, the whole conventions of the world in which you live, and they become your guide. You can't see beyond them. And if it's according to the normal thing that you fight in a war and kill a lot of people, well, you accept that. That's your conscience, it wouldn't trouble at all.


And if you're storing up nuclear weapons which can annihilate millions of people, your conscience can still accept that. You see, it gets veiled by the God of the world. And most people, all of us to some extent, are blinded by the fashion, the convention, the way people perceive things around us. And the gospel is to break through that veil, that blindness, and to, as he says, prevent them from seeing the light of the gospel, the glory of Christ with the likeness of God. You see, we're made in the image of God, and the conscience is the image of God in us. And when the conscience is awake, then we perceive the glory of God in Christ. You see, we awaken to this inner presence. And when it's veiled, then it's hidden from us. And that's the mystery of grace, you see, that conscience can be awakened, and then we perceive the glory of Christ with the likeness of God. We're made in the image of God, and Christ is that image. And we discover God in him, and through him, God in us.


For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. So the Christian doesn't preach himself. He preaches his presence of God in Christ, and himself as a servant, to awake people to this knowledge. It's there in every human heart. There is this capacity for God. And when that is awakened, they begin to perceive themselves as the image of God, see God's light shining in them. And then he used this beautiful image. It is God who said, let light shine out of darkness. We're shone in our hearts to get the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. See, when the conscience awakens to the truth, and the light begins to dawn, then the heart is enlightened, and we begin to see the glory of God. And the glory of God is this light, you see, this eternal light. And that shines for us in the face of Christ. Christ is the image of the invisible God.


You see, he makes known, he manifests eternal God, eternal light, which shines in his face, and it shines through his face into us and into our hearts. So this is the, as I say, the mystical theology, you see, how the human person is transfigured by the light of Christ when it opens the heart and allows that light to shine in. And we see the glory of God in the face of Christ. You see, he's the face of God. He's the one in whom God manifests himself. You see, the face is the way you present yourself to others. And Christ is the face by which God presents himself to us. And through, in that face, we see the glory of God, and we're transformed into it, you see. It's never merely looking at a distance. Light shines in our own hearts, and in that light, we see God, we see Christ as the image of God. So as I say, this is really the art of mystical theology. In sending out his disciples,


Jesus gives them these powers which he himself had. He manifested this power to heal, to cast out evil spirits, to heal the sick and the infirm. And that is the mission of the church in a wide sense. But it's noticeable that he sends them out just to the 12 tribes of Israel. And it's probable that even the 12 apostles is much more symbolic than real. We don't actually know the names of the 12. They differ in the different gospels. And it's the number which is really more important than the people. Because clearly, Jesus was founding the new Israel. There have been these 12 tribes of Israel. And the 12 apostles are the base for this new Israel. And it's sent, first of all, to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Go not to the Samaritans


or to the Gentiles, he says. And it's necessary to realize how limited the scope of the gospel was. Jesus came, first of all, to Israel to redeem Israel and to restore it to God. And only afterwards did the question of the Gentiles arise. In fact, the first disciples, the apostles themselves, were not aware that they were going to preach to the Gentiles. Peter had to have a special revelation to make him realize that he could receive a Gentile, Cornelius, into the church. And so it was entirely within this context of Israel that the gospel first was preached. And Jesus came to restore Israel. And then, of course, the idea was, as always in the Old Testament, Israel would be a light to the nations that it would spread then from the Gentiles. But things worked out very differently, of course. Israel wouldn't accept the Messiah.


And it was the Gentiles who came, became the church in the end. And so this is the initial stage. And the disciples go out with this message, preaching this kingdom of heaven. And the kingdom of heaven is this new age, this new world, this new life which Jesus brings into the world. And really it was manifest at the resurrection. It's only at the resurrection that the full meaning of all this began to dawn. And we also live in that context, I think. See, Jesus gives this commission to cast, give them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, to heal every disease and every infirmity. And as we were thinking of Jesus himself, he manifested these powers and revealed that these powers are present. And that they're in humanity,


but we don't see their fulfillment in this world. And it was only at the resurrection that the full mystery of Christ was revealed. And it's only in the resurrection that the full meaning of the gospel is revealed. We don't see the world freed from disease and infirmity and evil spirits today. On the contrary, we see it overwhelmed with them on every side. And that is our human condition. And Jesus himself went through suffering and death for the resurrection. And so we live in this world of sin, of suffering and death. And we have this promise of salvation, that we're to be set free from sin, from suffering and from death. And in Jesus, we see the one who has been set free, goes through suffering and death to the resurrection and reveals the destiny of the world. And we're all called to that final destiny, to be set free from all evil and to experience the fullness of life in God.


And so that is our hope and that is our expectation. And we experience the beginning of it in this world. There is a beginning of this liberation. We begin to be set free from the power of evil. We begin, or even to overcome to some extent, disease and infirmity may take place in some people. But we don't see, obviously, the fullness of that. We see the beginning of it and we see the beginning of eternal life. We discover in ourselves something which is not of this world. We discover this mystery of eternal life, which is the kingdom of heaven within us. And that is the beginning, the first fruits, as it were, like the seed. And we wait for its fulfillment from the final destiny. So I think it's important that we see the resurrection as the end of life. Otherwise, life is very miserable. We don't see much achievement in this world. Church has been 2,000 years and most of humanity is still outside the church. And within the church,


we don't see anything very wonderful. There are wonderful things, but there are also great deals that are not wonderful at all. And so we live in a world of dualities and of imperfection and of unfulfillment. As the Buddha said with such great insight, that this world is all dukkha. It's all suffering. It's all unfulfilled. But there is a fulfillment beyond. And the resurrection reveals the destiny of mankind and we're all called to that new life in Christ and the resurrection. And we try to live our life in this world in the context of the resurrection. Without that, it wouldn't have much meaning. With that, it gathers full meaning because every good thing in this world, every positive value is fulfilled in the resurrection. There's nothing here which is not fulfilled there in this world. There's nothing good, nothing true, nothing holy. So that is the situation in which we live


and we seek to open our hearts to the grace that this eternal life which is being offered. Resurrection is eternal life. And that is what is offered. And that which is present in a mysterious way in the Eucharist under the signs of the bread and wine, Jesus is present in his risen life. The risen Christ becomes present to his disciples, opening them to this new life which he lives now in God, in heaven, and which he's calling us to share with him. So that is the vision which the Gospel sets before us. So Paul here brings up this contrast between what he calls the earth and vessels and the power which belongs to God. And that is our human state. We have this infirmity of the flesh, the body, of human weakness. At the same time, we are in contact with this power of God. We have this treasure in earth and vessel to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us.


And that is, of course, the cause of great conflict. We always feel this weakness in the flesh and the body and the world around us. At the same time, we feel this other power. So he says we're afflicted in every way but not crushed, perplexed, but not driven to despair, persecuted but not forsaken, struck down but not destroyed. And one can take that in less dramatic terms. Everybody, we're exposed day by day to so many perplexities, conflicts, and problems of any minor sort it may be. But we're always faced with all these conflicts in every aspect of life. And yet at the same time, in the midst of it all, there's the opposite. He says always carrying in the body the death of Jesus that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. And that really is the Christian mystery, this living death and life not as two separate things. In the moment of death there is life


and in life there is death. They're two opposites and yet they go together. And even in the death of Jesus on the cross when he died, when he surrendered himself to God, he was raised up. Of course the resurrection appeared in time after three days and so on. But the actual event was at the same time death and resurrection as a single moment. And it's always so in life that the moment of death is always the moment of resurrection if we're open to the mystery of God. Of course we can close ourselves and then we experience death without resurrection. We're always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, the life of Jesus may be manifested in our bodies. But while we live we're always being given up to death for Jesus' sake that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then he has a rather strange phrase, so death is at work in us but life in you. He's talking to these Corinthians and I think it's a little ironic, you know, he said before


we apostles are all suffering and afflicted and so on but you are established well, you are doing well. It's a little ironic, I think they were rather prosperous people and they hadn't realized the deeper mystery of the cross probably. So that's his meaning. Since we have the same spirit of faith as he had who wrote, I believe and so I spoke, we too believe and so we speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. And there is this faith in the resurrection, I mentioned this morning, more and more the resurrection is the key to the whole Christian life and resurrection is the end of time, it is the end of time in a sense but it takes place all the time. It's time and eternity are interwoven like that and so there is this death


and resurrection taking place for every day as from Paul says elsewhere, I die daily and so it's that faith that in all that we experience, good and the evil, we're always being accompanied as it were by this power, this grace which opens us up and sustains us to eternal life because eternity is in time, you see. Time is not an extension, eternity is not an extension of time, we stay here for a while and then we go on in eternity. Eternity is always present and time is the dimension of eternity so we experience eternity in time and when we're open to it, then every event in time becomes a fraction of an event in eternity, we're always living in the presence of God who is the eternal reality. Then he says, that he may bring us with you into his presence, it brings you into the presence of God and it's accepted


but it's all for your sakes that it is great to say him to more and more, it may increase thanksgiving to God. So he sees the whole Christian life in these terms of death and resurrection and this goes extending more and more and that is the hope, you see, that this sort of awareness should grow and people more and more experience this life in the midst of death because we're not going to escape death, it's there for everybody but we can discover that light is in the midst of death and joy is in the midst of suffering, that there is this great mystery where the opposites are reconciled, brought together, so we can all try to discover that in our lives. We read this story of the sending out these first apostles and of course under very special conditions


and first of all, I think that Jesus has preached the coming of the kingdom of God and clearly he spoke in apocalyptic terms about this kingdom, this kingdom was to come, the faith of Israel, also God will intervene in the world, manifest himself in a totally new way, new age was begin and Jesus was proclaiming this coming of this kingdom and people had to be ready for it. We can see it at many levels, there's one level where the whole of that world of Israel where he was living and preaching was going to be destroyed within a few 40 years or 50 years and people had to be ready for that but then there's a deeper sense of course in which this world is always passing away and we've always got to be ready for this coming of the kingdom of God coming into our lives and we have to be free from all attachments, this is a particular command he gives


not to take anything on the way, says take no gold, no silver, no copper, no bag, not two tunics or standards or a staff, it's the absolute minimum and of course in India this is not very unreasonable, there are many sanyasis who precisely go about like that or even Christians sanyasis today who do it, it's possible but you have to translate that of course into other terms, it's this total detachment, not depending on anybody or anything, being totally committed to God alone, to the service of God and so that's the demand which he makes on them and then he says if you enter a city, find who is worthy and stay with them and so a great deal depends on the dispositions of the people


to whom this word is preached and to some it comes as salvation, it comes as a word of life and their whole being is transformed and they respond and to others it comes as a challenge which they can't face and there are many people who can't face this challenge of God, of truth, of love, whatever we were to give to it and we're all in a sense in that situation, sometimes we're ready to respond, sometimes we're not and it is a challenge all the time and I think we have to recognize that, it comes in so many different forms in people's lives but we're all being challenged in different ways to respond to God, to grace, to love, to truth, whatever name we give it, this challenge comes to us and day by day we either respond and open ourselves and undergo this transformation or we can close in on ourselves, we don't fear, I'm not ready for this, we've got satisfied with what we have or we cling to what we have,


to our possessions or our family or whatever good we have in this world so the challenge is always there, whether we cling to this world or what we have and to our ego, to ourselves or whether we allow the word of God to come into our lives, to change us, transform us, to open us to a new life so that's the great challenge of the gospel and it comes today, just as it came at that time and as I said, it is a healing power, it's not merely a word which speaks to the mind or gives a doctrine, it is a healing power which comes to change the person, change our lives and it's put in this form of healing the sick, raising the dead and it may be these things can happen, Jesus did raise the dead and Peter raised somebody from the dead and so on but that is really only symbolic in a sense because obviously it's not the meaning of the gospel is not to restore people into this world, it's to bring them into a new world,


a new life and same with Paul's teaching here and very striking in this passage and particularly where he refers to things visible and things invisible, very obvious sort of Greek influence here, St Paul was a Greek-speaking Jew of course, living in this Greco-Roman world and he must have been aware of these influences, particularly the influence of Plato which influenced the father so much and which was already present in his world. So he says, though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed and this idea of the outer and the inner man is also a stoic idea of the Greco-Roman world and it's very profound of course, we all have the outer nature, not in the physical body but also the outer psyche, the outer senses, feelings and imagination, all the parts that relate us to the outer world


and then we have this inner nature, this inner man which is the spirit within, the image of God within and that is being renewed every day. See, our bodies and our souls in a sense are wasting away, we're spending them all the time but the inner self, the spirit within should be renewed day by day by the power of grace, prayer and love. So that itself is a very striking image and then he says, a slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison and it's difficult to realize but all the sufferings of this world as he says elsewhere are nothing to be compared with the joy that will be revealed and we have to try to keep that in mind when pain comes or some great problem of trial, we're overwhelmed by it, it seems to absorb our whole horizon but we always have to remember that there is this mystery beyond which is beyond all these trials and afflictions


and to be careful which they are very slight and he says, a slight momentary affliction prepared for an eternal weight of glory, it's a wonderful phrase you see, it's the solidity of the glory. We often think of the spiritual world as something rather ethereal and vague but in reality it's a solid, the spiritual world is solid, it's the physical world which is transient and passing away, we all know all this apparent solidity atoms and electrons and things which are whirling about all the time and it's all changing at the whole time, there's nothing solid in the material world but the spiritual world, spirit within has this solidity, this substance, this concreteness you see, it's the reality is there, this is the appearance, this is a shadow and reality is within, so that's this eternal weight of glory because we look not to the things that are seen but to things that are unseen,


this is the key to the whole thing you see, today people cannot envisage anything unseen, see the whole scientific mind is to observe phenomena and it does it marvelously, there's nothing outside, it ranges from the minutest atoms and electrons to the stellar galaxies and so on, it goes on observing phenomena but they're all visible phenomena which you observe through our instruments and telescopes and microscopes and so on, marvellous work, there's all the very very limited world of what can be seen or what appears and beyond that is the unseen and vast number of people they cannot conceive of any unseen whether you talk of God or the soul or even of truth or beauty, to them it's just a vague word which signifies nothing because it's not solid, it's not real, it's not sensible you see, so the great conflict, those who live in the world of appearances and think this is reality and those who've begun to discover


the invisible reality which is the reality which has this solidity of this power and this beauty in it you see, so this is a tremendous change and Paul is putting it very powerfully here you see, this was the Christian vision, he rose above all this materialism which was very strong in the Roman Empire too and opened themselves to this spiritual reality where the things that are seen are transient, the things that are unseen are eternal and we open ourselves to the unseen mystery then we open ourselves to the eternal, the infinite, the unchanging, the one beyond and that's what meditation means, it means going beyond the transitory, the outer world, the inner world to discover the inner reality which is present in the heart of each one you see, the heart of each person is this infinite eternal reality of the Upanishad speakers, this little shrine in the heart, the centre of the heart is the little shrine of the lotus,


in the heart of the lotus there is a little space and in that space in the heart of the lotus the whole universe is contained because God is in that space in the heart of the lotus, God is in the heart of each one. Can we reflect on the life of Saint Benedict? We see him as one who brought the tradition of eastern monasticism to the west, monastic life grew up in the east in Egypt and Palestine in the fourth century and thousands of people flocked to the desert of Egypt and Palestine to live this ascetic life and became a great movement in the church and Saint Benedict was called to give that monastic tradition a shape for western Europe and he composed that rule based on other rules,


it's not original largely, to give a particular form to a monastic life in the west and for over a thousand years Benedictine rule became the rule of monastic life in the west, it greatly superseded all others and became the type of monastic life and it's continued to the present day after the reformation, the French Revolution, monasteries were destroyed and almost died out and then there was a revival in the 19th century, new monasteries sprang up in France, Germany, Italy, England and so on and after that it began to spread to the other continents and today there are monasteries in all parts of the world, here in Asia and here in India but it's of all very small growth of course to a great extent and it still has I think to find its new form


because we can't simply go on propagating a western form of monasticism, Saint Benedict molded it for the west and it's had a wonderful tradition in the west but it's not adapted to the east and today the church seeks this acculturation to make our traditions core to the culture of the people among which we live and in India we have this long tradition of monasticism going back to time of the Vedas, the sannyasis giving their solitary life first of all and then communities and there's a great monastic tradition in India and it's an inspiration to the whole world, Indian monks, sannyasis go to Europe and America today and Australia and Africa and found ashrams to which people flock from all parts, there's a great inspiration in it and the monastic order in the church has to open itself to the values


which are found in this Indian monasticism, the whole ashram movement and actually in India we have a quite considerable ashram movement today, this ashram was in a sense the beginning of it in the catholic church but it's gradually spread and we have this ashram Aikyo we meet regularly and they're only small groups but they're all over India today, 60 or 70 people are involved now in the ashram movement trying to bring the Indian tradition of the ashram life into the church to see it as a value, it belongs to the church, belongs to Christ and we here are involved in this movement and we have to pray for the light to see how this monastic tradition of India can be united with the monastic tradition of the West and we ourselves we were united with Kamaldoli in 1980, it began and was finally completed more recently


and Kamaldoli stands for this very special tradition of monasticism in the West, Saint Romuald its founder in the 11th century united the solitary with the community life and that has great meaning for India because in India the solitary life of the sannyasi has always been the predominant form and then monasteries, communities grew up around that and Kamaldoli therefore stands for something very important for monastic life in India and we seek to bring this Kamaldoli's tradition to India and to integrate it with the Indian tradition of ashram life of sannyasa. It's a great undertaking, not only a seed, just a beginning but we have to pray that this movement may grow and it's still very limited and only gradually are we discovering the possibilities of it. We have to ask intercession of Saint Benedict


for this grace to discover how monastic order, monastic life can be rooted in India, how it can be adapted to the soil of India, to the tradition of India and find a new expression here in India and also in Asia as a whole. So we ask for this prayers of Saint Benedict for the whole Benedictine order and also to add in Africa there's been a very considerable movement of Benedictine monasticism in Africa and African people are much less contemplative than the Indian but they've got a very strong community sense and the whole community ideal of Benedictine life appeals very much to them so there are new movements growing up everywhere and we have to be aware of it to work within it and as I say to pray for the grace of the Holy Spirit to guide this movement in Africa, in Asia, especially here in India,


especially here in our own ashram. So we ask the prayers of Saint Benedict. He says, as you remember yesterday we had this idea of the outer man and the inner man and the visible world and the invisible world these two contrasts and now he brings up this theme of another image if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed we have a building from God, a house not made with hands eternal in the heavens and it's very interesting this idea of a spiritual body and in the Indian tradition there are three bodies there is the gross body, the outer body with the gross senses and then there's a subtle body with the subtle senses and then there's a mental body with the what we would call more the soul and the mind with its thoughts and feelings and so on and so there are very many levels of body


and beyond all Saint Paul would say it's a spiritual body and we have a physical body obviously and we have subtle body feelings and imagination and so on but beyond them all there is already present a spiritual body and the Fathers used to say that the Eucharist builds up the spiritual body within us and at the time of death the gross body and subtle body may not actually disappear and the spiritual body remains and that is the body in which the Holy Spirit dwells and so he says here we grow and long to put on our heavenly dwelling you see as long as we're in this gross body we're going to suffer and we're going to die but within that as it were is this spiritual body which is eternal and that is growing up in us it's already present from the beginning but it's like a seed and it has to grow and so we want gradually we know that this gross body is going to decay


and we long to put on the heavenly dwelling so that by putting it on we may not be found naked and for a Jew it's very interesting you see the Greeks had the idea the body was a kind of prison you want to get out of it and become spirit and it's not uncommon in India but in the Jewish view the body is really the reality of your being and we have no body without a being and it's very deep view really so he doesn't want simply to lose the body he wants to lose the gross body he wants to be covered in this spiritual body it's a very profound idea and Ramalinga Swamigal you know we're reading a very remarkable mystic and he's supposed to have had this golden body and said that he had a deathless body I don't know how true it is but I think he really did experience something very deep in that way and the same idea is present in other traditions of a dharman body but in Tibetan mysticism there's a dharman body a body which cannot be corrupt


you see which is free from corruption so he says that we may be found for while we are still in this tent this tabernacle we sigh with anxiety not that we would be unclothed but we're further clothed so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life so it's a marvellous idea really you see that this physical body is decaying all the time and is going to die but within it as it were there is another body a spiritual body which is gradually growing and at death the spiritual body emerges and the gross body disintegrates and that's what we wait for that this may be swallowed up by life but he has prepared us for this many think it's God who has given us the spirit as a guarantee see the holy spirit is given us and the spirit is present in the body and in the soul and gradually by the work of grace the holy spirit takes possession of the soul the mind and the will particularly you see


and that is our spiritual transformation but then gradually the holy spirit takes possession of the body and builds up this spiritual body within us and then at the end as I say the gross body the subtle body they disintegrate and the true person the spiritual person with the spiritual body is eternal and that end is with God so that I think is the vision of Saint Paul it's very very profound as you see and it's one that we rather lost because you see the church was very much influenced by patronism Saint Augustine particularly and the Greek fathers and they tended rather to emphasize the spiritual character of Christian life and to see the body as something decaying of course there was always the idea of the resurrection of the body but it was something which came at the end somehow and it was never quite explained but the idea of the spiritual body is already growing in us it occurs in Saint Irenaeus


who was a very profound teacher in the second century and that's rather lost sight of but in the context of the Indian tradition I think it's much more real that there is really in every human being there is a spiritual body like a seed which can hardly grow at all but which can gradually grow to full stature and in Christ we see of course the fullness of the spiritual body of the resurrection he enters fully into that spiritual body and he goes beyond time and space and into fullness of the divine life This picture of Saint Paul in the Colosseum is a particular interest Colosseum was one of these churches in Asia Minor as it was but it's now Turkey and it was one of the centers of this Gnosticism this Gnosis, this wisdom


which spread across Asia almost certainly from India of the elements of the Edanta in it and Saint Paul encountered this Gnosticism it's the beginnings of what later became Gnosticism in these churches of Colosseum and Ephesus and he begins to see Christ in the context of this oriental thought you could say and especially this idea of the universal man the main tradition we have it in India the Purusha the universal, the cosmic person beginning of the world in whom the whole creation comes together and we find a similar idea in Islam with the universal man through whom God looks on the universe and the universe looks on God very wonderful idea and I think there's no doubt Saint Paul had this line of thought in his mind


he calls Jesus the image of the invisible God the firstborn of all creation and God is the invisible the one beyond and Jesus is the manifestation the image of the invisible God because in him no man has seen God at any time the only because the son he has revealed him this image reveals the invisible God the firstborn of all creation that's where he's linked up you see with the creation but they say there is this idea of the cosmic person who's before all creation and from whom creation comes in him all things were created in heaven and on earth visible and invisible and thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities these are all the orders of angels as we understand and which are really these cosmic powers which exist at many levels of consciousness we'll call it with these cosmic powers which ascend from human


through various stages to the divine and Jesus is above all these cosmic powers the whole creation all things created through him and for him he is before all things and in him all things hold together and this is exactly this cosmic person you see all things were created through him and for him and he is before all things and in him all things hold together he's the center of the whole cosmos so this is one of the rare examples when Jesus is seen as this cosmic person as the cosmic lord and on the whole we tend to neglect this we think much more of the savior of humanity and so on of course it's fundamental but in the oriental context you see this brings Jesus much more into the context of the Buddha of the Krishna of the whole concept of cosmic person who is behind the whole creation and from whom the whole creation depends


so i think for us in India it's extremely important text and then it gives you to more specifically christian point he is the head of the body of the church the beginning the first born from the dead and this body of the church is really the body of humanity so he's the head of whole creation then he becomes the head of humanity that redeemed humanity he redeems humankind through his death and resurrection and forms them into this church this communion this congregation and he does this through the resurrection he is the beginning the first born from the dead everything it might be preeminent it's in the resurrection that Jesus is revealed as beyond all human limitations one with God and presiding over all creation it's only in the resurrection that this revelation comes to birth and then we realize who he is that he is this cosmic person who exists from the beginning and in whom the whole creation is centered


for in him all the fullness of God is pleased to dwell the word is pierroma in greek and the same as the purna in sanskrit that is full this is full God is that plenitude that fullness and in Jesus all this pierroma this fullness is pleased to dwell in him the fullness of God God is present everywhere in every body but the fullness of God is present in Jesus that's the of the maximaltist one and through him to reconcile for himself all things in heaven or in earth see again this cosmic view that through the resurrection the whole creation has renewed creation and humanity fall into sin fall away from God and by the resurrection matter itself is redeemed the cosmos creation and restored to God making peace by the blood of his cross see the sacrifice of the cross is that central sacrifice


which renews the whole world the whole cosmos and humanity so this is one of the great texts which gives us the cosmic Christ and today that's extremely important because there's been a tendency you see to limit Jesus to first of all to humanity and then to a section of humanity mainly Europeans and Americans and leave out the rest of the world but in the Christian vision Jesus is for all humanity from the beginning to the end and for the whole creation he is the head of all that is our original vision we need to cover it this gospel is relevant today because this whole question of love of God and of one's neighbor is very much in people's minds people are often object to this kind of religion


which has love of God through worship and praise and people are often worship and external signs and neglects another neighbor and secondly because the whole question who is my neighbor is very relevant and always we tend to limit ourselves to a certain community the Jews felt their own fellow Jews were their neighbors Gentiles were outside all together that's not altogether true there was a movement to go outside but it was prevalent and the same thing happens in the church people think Christians or Catholics are their neighbors outside they don't recognize and same with Muslims or with caste Hindus or with any of these communities we love our neighbor and we really try to help our community and we do everything for it but outside that community our interest is very limited and it doesn't really our love doesn't extend


and how to get beyond these barriers which create all the divisions in humanity if you look around the world today all these conflicts come because people don't recognize others as their neighbor whether it's the Israelis and the Palestinians or the white South Africans and the black or any group or the Senegalese and the Tamils they're all limited to their communities and they find it difficult to see that the other is their neighbor and I think the only way you can overcome that is as Jesus indicates in his answer you have to go beyond your neighbors you have to go to God and God is the only reality which holds all these different communities together when we are limited ourselves to our own community we're enclosed in there we can't relate properly to others when we go beyond and see God as the source


the origin behind everybody and behind everything then we're open to a real love which extends to all humanity and that was the great breakthrough which took place really in the gospel particularly when St. Paul says in Christ with neither Jew nor Greek neither born nor free neither male nor female God is reconciled united all humanity in himself so we all need to reflect on this because unconsciously we all tend to be limited by our community by our particular sphere of interest and beyond that our interest is very limited and to go beyond and to really see every human being as our neighbor is really tremendous grace and perhaps one could reflect we've been reading this life of Mother Teresa and it comes out with extraordinary force the way she's been able to break all these bonds of community of limitation


she's gone out to humanity wherever it is suffering it's very almost exact in good Samaritan wherever she finds suffering humanity whether it was in Bengal with Muslims and Hindus and others or wherever she goes in the world she goes and she's accepted everywhere so there is a sense today I think something really new where people do feel that beyond all the bonds of bounds of nationality and race and so on there is a common humanity especially when it's a suffering so that anybody who goes out to the suffering humanity wherever it is is welcome it's been a very remarkable thing all the heads of state and all the heads of religion everywhere in the world have recognized this and I think that's something very significant that we do recognize now sort of unity of humanity and particularly we see it in the suffering the oppressed the lepers and people who are ostracized who are kept outside


so perhaps this mystery this message of the good Samaritan really has gone out throughout the world today and it's something very significant but we should always remember that what enables Mother Therese or anybody like her to go out to the suffering like that is because she finds Jesus in them if you're simply going out for human beings you will always be limited because she knows God in Christ and Christ knows suffering people therefore she's able to go out and I think we all as I say have to go back to the source unless there is an awareness that God is in each person and they are loving God in them your love will be ineffective or will certainly be limited only when we have the fullness of love of God can we have the fullness of love of others so we all need to reflect in our own lives how we can have this two it's two and yet one you see to love God is to love humanity in God and that is the meaning of incarnation


that God enters into our humanity brings us all together in one body and makes us one body in himself and in this Eucharist particularly we celebrate this unity of humanity the whole human race in God in Christ in that fulfillment which God wills for you from history in this chapter as we saw before and here he speaks of being in the body and away from the Lord we're always of good courage while we are at home in the body we're away from the Lord and I think we have to recognize you see there are two dimensions of human life there's our life in the body which is going to pass away in time and then there's another mode of life where life in the spirit you can call it and that is dimension of all human existence


we live in the body but there is something beyond the body the mind and the mind opens on the spirit we become aware of some transcendent reality which is present in our lives some people have very little idea of it they live mainly in the body but others have a some degree more of it and others have a very deep consciousness and really growth is precisely becoming aware of this other dimension that we're not merely living a bodily life we're living this life in the spirit and St. Paul obviously was very deeply immersed in that life in the spirit for we work by faith and not by sight and it's by faith that we know that there is this beyond the body the mind can only see the physical reality around us but when we open ourselves to beyond this physical reality we discover this other dimension by faith and we learn of it from the gospel and from other religious traditions and so on but then that has to make a spark in us by which we experience this mystery of faith


and faith is a kind of illumination it's an awakening to this transcendent reality in our lives and we'll rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord and that's a very common experience I think it's fundamental in a sense see most people think this life in the body is everything and that ends and everything ends but the opposite is true of course life in the body is very transient and very short and there is a deeper life which is growing within the body but beyond it and that is our eternal life and that is what really that is being at home with the Lord and so in a sense we prefer to go beyond this bodily life and experience the fullness of that life in the spirit now we get a glimpse of it we may enter a little more but only when we go free from the body do we discover the fullness of that reality so whether we are at home or away we make it our aim to please him but that is a fundamental point


while we're in the body we do whatever we can to please the Lord that is to correspond with this light of the spirit within us we please God when we respond to his presence within us when we allow that to act and guide our lives for we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ each one will receive good or evil this is a metaphor of course in a judgment seat but it really means you see in that dimension of the spirit there is a judgment it's when we go beyond the body and enter into the spirit we become aware of this transcendent reality and we see ourselves in the light of that reality and at the moment of death the bodily life goes out and we encounter that reality of its fullness and then it judges us we judge ourselves we see what we are as you say now we try to know who am I you see am I this body am I these feelings these thoughts


or is there a real person beyond them which is my real self at the moment of death we encounter the real self see ourselves as we are and that is the judgment it isn't something from outside it's something from within we see ourselves as we are so that each one may receive good or evil according to what is done then he goes on to say we're not commending ourselves giving the cause to be proud so he goes back to his relation with the Corinthians for if we are beside ourselves it is for God if we're in our right mind it is for you what he means is if you like to enter into the life of the spirit you can go beyond the body and then you're living to God alone and then when you want to relate yourself to others you have to come back to the bodily life to talk to act and to return to this world as it were these two dimensions are always there


some people don't experience it hardly at all but it's always present to some extent everybody has some kind of inner life as well as the outer life and that is what he means by this being if we are beside ourselves we enter deeply into that inner life where we've got alone and then if we are in our right mind that is if we enter into our normal human consciousness then we're present to one another so the love of Christ controls us because we're convinced that one is dead now this is very remarkable he says we are convinced that one has died for all therefore all have died most people that is quite unintelligible but Saint Paul and for the early ancient tradition it was quite clear you see we imagine everybody is an isolated individual if you die well you die it doesn't affect anybody else but in the ancient understanding and in the true understanding all human beings are members of one another


and we all affect one another and today you know scientifically people say the whole universe is a total interdependent interreacting reality we're all interacting the whole time and so if one has died for all all have died Jesus by taking on himself the destiny of humanity as it were you see unites himself with humanity he knew this unity of humanity we feel ourselves separated and today especially people think of themselves as totally isolated individuals but in the past people were much more aware they were members of a community the individual sense is much less strong and in the deeper history when you go deeper in you discover your bond with all humanity Jesus knew this bond with the whole of humanity and when he died he died for all he was aware of his bond with all human beings and when he was raised


he was raised up for all humanity so he died for all that those who live might know no longer for themselves but for him who their sake died and was raised up you see so when we accept that Jesus died for us and with us you see it's not a substitute so he took it and we remain the same we are members of that body of humanity and Jesus dies in that body of humanity and raises that body of humanity to which we all belong raises it to new life and that is awakening to this inner life this life of the spirit within so you see this is really the heart of St Paul's theology of the same Christian theology it's really a very deep insight into our human condition you see these two dimensions of reality in the body and in the spirit and how we relate to them and how we see Christ as one who unites the two he sets us free from the bondage of the body


opens us to this life in the spirit the opening of this gospel is rather shocking and Jesus says I came not to bring peace on the earth today we think above all of this need for peace and everybody is in search of peace and yet Jesus says I came not to bring peace but a sword and it's a Hebrew way of speaking in a sense because of course he did come to bring peace but peace can only be won at the cost of truth of adherence to the truth and until people learn to adhere to the truth they will be in conflict so this bringing a sword is a consequence it's not an intention it's not the will of God that should be conflict but it's a consequence of rejection of the truth and I think when we think of the world today


and the problem of world peace you can't solve it on the level of merely human consideration as long as we remain on that level of politics and social concern there is no real answer it's only when you go beyond political, social, merely human order and awake to the inner truth the reality beyond that peace becomes possible it's only when we've got over our own inner conflicts and our own limitations discovered the indwelling presence of God within that is when peace comes in our own lives and that is when peace comes to the world so Jesus is describing what happens when people have not found that inner peace when they've not found God then they find themselves in this estrangement and all these conflicts arise furthermore in the family comes a man against his father a daughter against her mother daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law and a man's foes with those of his own household and it's these attachments to family


and community and all these ties human ties which cause all these conflicts you think of it people, in their own personal end it is of course they start in their home and elsewhere but there's much more of these communal ties we know them here in India we see it all over the world people are bound by these communal ties and then they end in conflict with other communities who don't share their own language or their own skin color or their own religion or whatever it may be so these are the conflicts which arise in humanity because of these attachments that get attached to ourselves to our kindred to our community and we're blind to the what lies beyond and peace only comes when we get beyond these limitations realize the unity of mankind so that's the first great bond is this attachment to communal ties


and particularly ties of blood of race and of language and then he says he who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me and it isn't of course that love of father and mother or family is wrong it's many times it's given the wrong priority it's given priority there's a wonderful saying in the Upanishads the same subjects where it is said not for the sake of the husband is the husband dear for the sake of the spirit within is the husband dear not for the sake of the wife is the wife dear sake of the spirit is the wife dear people are not dear for themselves apart from the spirit within it's the spirit that gives value to each human being human dignity the human person is because of the spirit within and if we separate the person from the spirit then they're no longer to be loved they're to be loved because they're parts of they're all members of this great body of humanity


in which the spirit dwells and so it is this making it dear that when you put anything before the truth Jesus himself is that truth of human nature what man really is and when we put anything in front of that then we cause division we cause conflict and we fail to realize ourselves and so he says he who finds his life will lose it he who loses his life, my saviour, will find it and the word for life is suki which really means soul and or self you could say and it's when we lose this self when we lose this ego center that we open to God and when we are living in the ego center we're always in conflict so this is really the root of it the communal ties arise because we also have this attachment to ourselves to our ego and our community builds up our ego


and therefore we cling to it and as long as that remains we cause conflict in the world unconsciously it may be people don't deliberately make enemies they make friends but those friends are a limited circle who are in conflict with others and therefore we all come into conflict and the root of it all is this self-love self-will self-attachment self-centeredness and that's the demand to surrender that ego that self to lose oneself and then you gain it if we're seeking to preserve it then we lose it so this is the paradox but also the problem of life then he goes on to say he who receives you receives me receives me receives him who sent me that when we accept a person because of that inner truth that spirit in them then we receive Christ we receive God and that is what emphasizing today this dignity of the human person


and it doesn't come simply from his outer person the ego-centered person he's not a matter of dignity at all but because within each person with all his limitations and his self-centeredness there is the spirit of God there is this inner mystery and when we see that and respect that then we create harmony we create peace but when we don't recognize that then we bring conflict and so he sees it or he receives a profit because he's a profit all those who have realized the self as we say in Hindu who've gone beyond their ego and have opened themselves to God a prophet is a person who's open to the spirit of God and the righteous man is a man who lives by the spirit of God then whoever gives to one of these least ones a cup of water because he's a disciple again because he's a disciple means because he's living in the truth because he's sharing in that inner spirit of God


so I think we all have to reflect on this because we're all involved in these terrible conflicts which go from beginning the family and begin with ourselves actually we're in conflict with ourselves and then we create conflict with the family and then in the village and the town and the country and the region and the race and the religion and so on we can make all these human conflicts and the only answer is this death to the self and Jesus is the one who died to himself or died on the cross to this egocenter in humanity and opened it up to God and we all have to undergo that death to the ego to the limited self and allow the spirit of God the true self the inner light to reveal itself so that's the space for ourselves for the church and for the world St. Paul goes on with this


very deep meditation you could call it on the mystery of Christ from now therefore on we regard no one from a human point of view even though we regarded Christ from a human point of view we regard him thus no longer it's very interesting but of course in a very real sense the disciples saw Jesus from a human point of view before the resurrection they saw him as a human being a prophet a messenger of God gradually built up seeing him perhaps as a messiah but they hadn't got a very divine understanding it was only with resurrection and Pentecost that they had a new insight and of course St. Paul shared that he had this vision of the resurrection and that for all of us is the same you see many people today they try to see Jesus from a human point of view and he can be very impressive great person and prophet and so on but it's in the night of the resurrection and Pentecost


we see something more in Jesus we see him from this other side as it were and he puts it in a very striking phrase if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation the old has passed away behold the new has come see to recognize Christ in this way is to enter into a new mode of existence a new creation the old creation is the creation in time it's given in the book of Genesis God created this world in time and time comes to an end and this world comes to an end and the new creation is this creation in eternity it's beyond time and space it's the new world and when Jesus rose from the dead he entered into that new creation that new world and we also when we are baptized when we realize our baptism we also pass from this limited temporal world into that eternal reality of the new creation if anyone is in Christ


he is a new creation he is members of the new creation and the old has passed away you see the old world it is passing away