Unknown year, May talk, Serial 00621

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We get this intimate revelation in the life of Christ, especially his relation with the Father, perhaps this intimate love of the Father, and he comes to communicate that love to us. As you know, there are many, many ways of love, very simple, childish love through all stages of human love, and to this love it comes from God, it comes from the Father, and he communicates that unique love to himself, that unique relationship. No one knows the Father but the Son, no one knows the Son but the Father. He has this unique relationship with God, with the Father, and he comes to communicate that. And he wants to share it with us, so that we also share in his experience of the Father's love. There's a Christian call in which we want to share his experience of the Father's love.


So he says, this is my command, you love one another as I have loved you. The way that he loved his disciples, he wants them also to love one another. And that comes down to us, we are his disciples. Jesus shares his love with us in order that we may share it with one another. And of course it's a tremendous demand. He says, greater love is no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Jesus shows his love by laying down his life, and he asks us to share that kind of love. It doesn't mean necessarily that we've got to die in an external way, but there is a kind of death in all love. You see, love is going out of yourself, it's dying to yourself, and allowing this grace of God to act in you. So it is a kind of death which we have to undergo before we can learn to love. And that is laying down one's life for one's friends. And then he says, you are my friends if you do what I command.


No longer do I call you servants. The servant does not know what his master is doing, but I have called you friends for all that I have heard from my partner that they have learned to you. It is as established as relationship of friendship. And many people are a little afraid to accept this. We still tend to think of gods and lords and masters and kings and emperors. All these images are used, and they all have their place. There is obviously something more inspiring in God and so on. But we have also to discover that God comes to us as a friend. And it is very important that... You see, there has been a tendency in the church ever since the time of Arius, when they questioned the divinity of Christ. Fathers insisted always on his divinity, his God. And that makes him seem rather remote. God seems far beyond us. And we have to learn that God is so close. And perhaps we can learn also from the Upanishads. We were reading the path of Upanishad.


God is hidden in everything, like cream and milk, like fire and wood. There is a hidden presence of God in all creation. And Jesus came to reveal this hidden presence in the heart of every person. There is this hidden mystery of God. And he comes to reveal that, to allow that mystery to manifest itself. And so, he comes into our lives with still the intimate friendship. And there are four kinds of loves. C.S. Lewis wrote a book called The Four Loves. And one is Eros. That is sexual love, married love, normal type of romantic love. All that comes under Eros. And then there is Storgine, which is affection, family affection especially, which many live by that. The family affection of fathers and mothers, of brothers and sisters, of children. All that is Storgine.


And then there is Agape, which is this love of God which Jesus brings into the world. And then there is this friendship, Phileo. And that is a form of this Agape, you see, this love which God gives. It takes the form of friendship, uniting people with one another in this bond of friendship. And Jesus came to give this love and to contribute in the form of friendship. So he comes to be our friend. And that's very important. As I say, many people have this awe of God and fear and so on, and we're sinners and he's holy and all these obstacles in the way, and don't realize that God has overcome all those obstacles. Not that we're good or holy ourselves, but he comes to us in our lack of holiness, our lack of goodness, and communicates this love, this grace which transforms us. So he asks us to be his friends. And he tells us, I've told all that I've heard of my father I've made known to you.


As we learn to accept Jesus in our life, he reveals to us the mystery of God, the father. And all through Christian history you see the mystics have opened themselves to this knowledge of the father and they've revealed the mystery of God. And we're all open to that. God can reveal a certain mystery of himself when we allow him to become our friend, when we accept him into our lives. And then he says, you did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you'd go and bear fruit for the fruits of the bride. That's very important, I think we often emphasize. I did not choose, you did not choose me, but I chose you. We often think that we choose God, we decide we have a religious vocation, to be a priest or whatever, and we're doing something. And then we realize early that it was we that were doing it, but God was inspiring this in us, and he was calling us. It's only when we realize our calling, whatever it is,


whether it's a priest or religious, whether it's a parent or child, whatever our place, we're all being called by God. Each one has his own particular calling, and God chooses each one of us. He chose us in him before the foundation of the world. So we all have this call from God, and when we recognize it, then we're able to go and bear fruit for the fruit of the bride. Then we discover our real selves. You see, as long as we think we're doing things of ourselves, I'm loving God, I'm choosing God, I'm being a holy man, and so on, we're egocentric and we're frustrated. When we give up the ego and allow the grace of God to come, then this transformation takes place. We realize God is working in us, and we're able to allow that work to take place. So then we begin to bear fruit. We don't bear fruit of ourselves. We bear fruit when God works in us and bears the fruit in us. Let your fruit to the bride. Whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.


This is a very challenging, what we can ask of God. And it's a little difficult, because many people ask many things of God and they don't receive them, and they get a little frustrated. But of course it depends on the degree in which we're surrendered to God. If we've really surrendered our will, then we really get whatever we ask. But most people, perhaps all people, never make a total surrender. We always hold on to ourselves in some way. But as long as we're in the egoism, we don't get what we want. Because what we really want is the will of God, and unless we're willing there fully, we don't get it. But once we make the surrender, then God works in us. And of course many have experienced how God simply works in their lives. They've only got to ask for something, and it's given them. So all these are really the great mysteries of love which Christ comes to reveal. This I command you to love one another. It sounds very simple. Love sounds the simplest thing in the world.


In one sense it is. But we all know there is all these obstacles to love. The center around the ego is self-centered person, and we're all self-centered persons, and that is the obstacle preventing love. And only crucifixion can put the self to death, you see. You have to die to that ego itself, and then the grace of God, the love of God will work in you. So this is the Christian calling, and it's for all Christians, you see. It's not just for the church. Everyone has that call to make the surrender and allow love to come into their lives. And there's nothing simpler than love. Nobody is more capable. The poorest child and the most abandoned person are all capable of love. And we can all respond if we allow this grace to come to us. So we ask God's grace to respond to this gift of God's love. After St. John's Gospel we get the revelation of the inner mystery of Christian faith,


and today we come to this further stage. He's been revealing himself in relation to the Father. He reveals this mystery of the Spirit, and in a sense it's the culmination of the whole incarnation. Word becomes flesh, dwells among us, lives as a human being, rises again. And then the Spirit comes. Jesus says, I will pray the Father, he will give you another counselor to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth. And this is what we receive, the Spirit of truth. And I think we have to recognize, or mention it, these three levels of reality, the physical, the psychological, and the spiritual. Everything really depends on seeing these distinctions. There is the physical world, and many people think that's the only real world, the physical is the real.


And then there's the psychological world, the world of our thoughts, feelings, desires, hopes, fears, the whole human world. And many, the majority perhaps, think that is the real world. But beyond the physical, beyond the psychological, there is this world of the Spirit. It's where we transcend ourselves, transcend the creative, and open ourselves to the transcendent reality, to truth. He was calling it the Spirit of truth. And we only reach the truth when we go beyond the body and beyond the mind. People think the mind is everything, the mind is limited by the senses. Only when we get beyond the mind do we encounter the truth. And Jesus came to open us to this new level of consciousness. The gift of the Holy Spirit is an awakening to a new level of consciousness, beyond the physical and beyond the psychological, beyond the rational, scientific, philosophical, theological mind, beyond all that there is this experience of God in the Spirit.


And that is the real purpose of the Incarnation, to awaken the human race to this transcendent reality, to this truth beyond. And we're all in need of that because we keep going back to the other. Even within the church, people go back to the psychological level, to see the whole dispensation in psychological terms. All right, as far as it goes. But unless we go beyond that, we don't reach the truth. And Jesus came to give this Spirit of truth. And the world today needs this Spirit of truth more than anything else, because we've got submerged, you see, either in the physical world, the material world is everything, science can teach you everything and transform the world. Many imagine that. Most are discovering that it's an illusion. Or else we remain in the mental world, at least the world of knowledge and mental understanding. That is going to give us truth. But it does not give the truth. And only when you go beyond the mind do you discover the truth.


And Jesus came and he had to die for it. He had to die to this world of the physical body and to the psychological. He had to die in body and in soul in order to open himself and the whole creation to the world of the Spirit. And at resurrection he goes beyond the body and the soul into that life of the Spirit. And he takes us with him. He's opened up this new world of the Spirit. And faith is when we open, we awaken to this transcendent mystery, the world beyond the body and the soul, beyond the creative universe, on the whole creation, that is this mystery of the Spirit. And it's communicated to us. It's given in baptism, it's renewed in confirmation. And the Eucharist is really a time and a place and a moment when we open ourselves to the mystery of the Spirit. Because Jesus is present in the Spirit in the Eucharist. He gave the bread and the wine there, the outward signs. To be in and through those outward signs, Jesus is present in the Spirit.


And the Spirit is not bound by space or time or any limitation. That's why he's present in every altar in the world. Because he's not bound by space and time, he's in the Spirit. And so Jesus becomes present in the Spirit to communicate himself to us in the Spirit. That's why we come together and celebrate. You see outward signs, the bread and the wine, the signs, the symbols, the means of opening ourselves to the reality of the Spirit. And the Spirit is the real world. So we can't help but think the physical is real. This is real, solid, this is substantial. We know it's nothing of the sort, of course. It's underneath the apparent solidity. There's a flux of atoms and electrons and things. It's not a solid matter at all. And then beyond that, the world of the senses and the feelings and so on. We think that is real. But beyond all of that is the reality of the Spirit. It's the real world. And in the Eucharist we encounter the reality of the signs in the physical form of bread and wine.


We encounter the reality, the truth. And so we try to open ourselves to this truth which Jesus reveals and which he is. He communicates, you see, the truth which is himself. He gives himself to us and enables us to know the truth. So we all have to ask. Because this is something the world is in need of, you see. People have lost this vision of reality, and they're trying to discover it again. And here in India there's been a long tradition of this art, of this Spirit, this truth. And people have sought it constantly. And in India people are awake to this reality. And we have to reveal that reality that Christ is that truth. That truth is the truth of the Spirit which is open to every human being. So we ask for grace to realize this mystery of faith. We go to the whole community, first of all, what this ashram stands for. And also, no one makes profession for themselves alone.


They make profession for the whole world. And we want to reflect what this ashram has stood for from the beginning, from its foundation. This openness to the mystery of God is revealed in India, and how we bring that into our life with Christ, which is the goal of our founders, to live out the mystery of Christ in the context of the mystery of India, India's experience of God through the ages. So we ask that, as brothers, we ourselves renew this commitment to search for God, search for self-realization, discovering the inner mystery, which is the answer to the whole of life. It's this inner secret which everybody seeks and which is difficult to find, but which God reveals to those who seek Him. We ask for His grace for us all. We celebrate this massive profession,


and its renewal of our community, this important event for the community and for the ashram as a whole. And as you know, this ashram was founded in 1950 by two grandfathers, Father Moshe and our father Lusso. They were pioneers at that time, the first who really conceived to live a Christian life in the context of the Indian tradition, the tradition of the Indian ashram. And Father Moshe and I expressed that idea by saying we wish to be totally Indian and totally Christian. And since that time, of course, this idea has grown, it's been accepted by the whole church that we are to live out our lives as totally Indian, totally Christian. And in India, we go back to the source. Father Moshe and I have always said, religions have to meet at their source. Before they come out and develop the various doctrines and disciplines,


they have a source in God. And that source in India is the Vedas, is Upanishads. And we always go back to the Upanishads as the source. And that is where the search for God in India found its fruition. He discovered the hidden mystery of the Godhead. He discovered it as Brahman and as Atman. The inner self. And one of the sayings in the Isha Upanishad was, he who sees all things in the self, the spirit, and the spirit, the self, in all things, he passes beyond all sorrow. And that is the goal, to find this inner self, this inner spirit, which is the heart of reality, of truth. And for a Christian, it is to find all things in Christ, and Christ in all things. We read in the Letter to the Ephesians, this plan in the fullness of time, put all things to a head in him, things in heaven and things on earth. So that is where these two traditions converge, seek the truth in the ultimate reality,


this Brahman, this Atman, the inner self, the true self. And we find that reality, that self, in Christ. He is God's revelation of himself. And he calls us all to share in that inner life. And I feel in this ashram, we have a very particular calling. You see, today, people are in search of God, not as a doctrine, not as a theory, but as an experience. Discover God within. And people come to India in thousands, in this search. And many Christians leave the church because they don't find that in the church. They find doctrines and disciplines and rules of life and so on. But often they don't find this inner truth, this experience of God. And so they come to India. And we have this special calling to answer that call, that need, to discover Christ within, dwelling in the heart. And an ashram is a place where we try to create a center where such experience becomes possible.


You see, many people find in the outer world, everything is against you, everything is orientated towards the external, to outward achievement. And to find this inner experience, this inner reality, you need a certain environment, you need some external peace and quiet. And so an ashram attempts to provide an environment in which that experience can be found. And those of us who commit our life to the ashram, commit our life to that experience of God. And of course it's not static, it's dynamic, it's something which grows day by day. So we set out on a search, a pilgrimage into God, a pilgrimage into God. And when we go ourselves on that path, we draw others on the same path. People are drawn into this search, this mystery, and this experience of God. And that has been happening, this ashram from the beginning. And I think it's the deathly call of God. So we all have a great responsibility.


All the different orders in the church, they're different gifts from God. Each has its own charism, its own path. And an ashram, a Christian ashram, has its own unique gift from God. And we're responsible for that, to the world. You see, we're not called here simply for ourselves. God calls people to do something for Him, for the world. And so this is a calling, to give our lives to God, in this search for the inner truth, the inner self, the spirit, the word, whatever name we give to this hidden mystery. It's the hidden mystery which is in the world, and it's in every human heart. And we have to reveal the mystery which is hidden in the heart. People don't know it. It's like a vast treasure hidden in the field, and people walk over it day by day. They don't know it's there. And then somebody digs and finds it, opens the treasure. Then people discover who they are. In India, we ask, who am I? Am I this external self, doing this and that?


Am I the inner self, thinking, desiring, caring, coping? Or is there something in me beyond this outer world, beyond the inner world? Is the inner truth, the reality itself, present in my own heart? See, that is the secret that India has given to the world, and that Christ comes to fulfill. So we ask for these two brothers especially, that they may realize the truth. And of course, it's a pilgrimage of life. We begin to realize, and day by day we grow, something that has to grow continuously to the end. And it doesn't end in this world. It goes on beyond. We commit ourselves to something which is eternal. So as I say, we ask for this grace for them, this grace for the ashram, and this grace for the church as a whole, because we do this on behalf of the church, on behalf of humanity, with this mystery of God, of Christ, and the indwelling presence, which India in particular can reveal to the world, that this may grow in us and have its place among us,


and that other people may discover it. So we ask this question. Yes, sir. This gospel is to say, it's pure advantage that I go away. And this is the history of the gospel, in the sense that Jesus comes in the flesh, reveals himself in this human condition, Palestine, limited human context, and then he departs in the flesh, and he returns in the spirit. Then we begin to prepare ourselves for Pentecost, which is the return of God, Christ, and the spirit. And that is the final revelation. Jesus doesn't come merely to appear on earth, do good, perform some miracles, die, arise again. He comes to communicate the spirit, communicate God to man, that we share in his life. And this is the Christian mystery, that Jesus departs in the flesh,


and returns in the spirit. And at this Eucharist we celebrate that coming in the spirit, and the signs of bread and wine, the reality that Jesus in the spirit is present to us, communicating his life to us. So that is the great mystery we celebrate. And then he says, when he comes he will convince the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment, of sin, because he do not believe in me. And in this time of the gospel, the great event was this rejection of Jesus. He is rejected by the Jews, and he is accepted by the church. But in the course of time, it's rather become the opposite. The problem of sin is not that people reject Jesus, but so many receive him, and it doesn't change their lives at all. Only to believe in Jesus doesn't change your life. It's only when you receive the spirit


that that change takes place. And we often deceive ourselves in that way. There are millions of people who are Christians, but their lives are no better, and very often much worse than those of others. Their belief in Jesus doesn't change anything. It's only when your faith leads to a transformation in the spirit, that you really become a Christian, and really a follower. And there are many tragic examples of this in the world today. Most people are put off from Christianity by Christians. That is the great problem. Just recently in America, there was a famous evangelist. He had 500,000 followers on the radio, and he and his wife were seen to be great apostles of the gospel. And recently he was found to have committed adultery, and was defrauded. But much more seriously, it was found that he accumulated vast wealth. He had a hotel where he and his wife lived, with gold fittings in the bathroom. And he had an unaccountable account of $73 million.


So this great evangelist commits adultery, which one can forgive easily, but he's simply corrupted by wealth. And that is a Christian. He's been giving this message for years and years on the radio, with 500,000 followers. And that's what made Christianity disliked in the world. You see, people feel it's hypocrisy. It's just a sham in the whole thing. So that's what he thinks. It's not that people don't believe in Jesus. It's those who do believe in him live such corrupt lives. Remember one Hindu in Kerala saying, I can't understand how people can believe in Jesus Christ and live the kind of lives they do. That's the kind of impression they give. But then Jesus says, and it's much more serious, he will convince the world of righteousness because I go to the Father. And this, again, is very important. You see, we don't simply believe in Jesus. We believe in Jesus as the son of the Father who takes us to God, to the Father.


Jesus, apart from the Father, is nothing. He has no being apart from the Father. His whole being is from the Father and to the Father. As he said, all that I have I receive from the Father. And all that he does is to take us to the Father. We pass from this world to the Father in order that we also may pass from this world to the Father. So Jesus' whole life is to the Father to bring us back to God. And that is our Christian faith and hope. And then finally he says, you will convince the world of judgment because the ruler of this world is judged. And that the ruler of this world is really what in India we call Maya. It's this great illusion that this world is everything. People think this world is everything and you've got to do all you can to make this world as happy as possible. Of course, it's all right to try and make things more happy. That's not the end of life at all. He says in the Upanishad,


fools going about in darkness say, this is the world, there is no other. And so they go from death to death. And that is a great illusion, you see, this world of the senses, this world which we live in is the reality, is all that. That has, in John's Gospel, really touched the heart of Christian revelation. The ultimate revelation is this history that God is love and that love is given to us. Jesus comes to communicate this love of the Father. And it's a great mystery because when we look around the world we don't see that God is love at all. We see so much suffering and misery and violence and oppression and innocent people suffering all the time. There's no sign that God is love. And if you look on the universe, it's very wonderful in many ways, but very horrible in many ways also. Terrible. The stellar universe, the vast spaces


and with no life in them and all these great mysteries we live in. And no appearance of love. And so many people are atheists for that reason. You look around in the world and from a rational judgment you could very easily be an atheist. And yet there is, behind the world, there is this mysterious presence of love. And when anybody loves in any way, parents love their child, or child loves the parents, or man loves a woman, or friends love one another, this emerges, this love emerges. And when we learn to meditate, we learn to discover there is something beyond all this outer world where God doesn't appear very much. And even in the inner world, the world of thoughts and feelings, desires, fears, anxieties, all these things are there. And we don't see God, we don't see love there.


But when we go beyond all that, then we begin to discover. I had an English friend once, a very devoted person. She, you know, very much lived for others all the time. And she was in a motor accident and was knocked unconscious. And she told me afterwards that she experienced absolutely overwhelming love. She went out of consciousness, she simply was absorbed into these waves of love. And that is a real experience, you see. If you're really giving your life in love, you may not experience it in an ordinary way, but when you get beyond your body and your senses, then you discover this. And millions of people have discovered this. But it's not something on the surface, you see. On the surface is violence and there's conflict and also there's emptiness and meaninglessness. So much there to be totally meaningless. And people are simply carried away by that. But when you get behind the surface, then you begin to discover there is this deeper reality


that takes a long time. And many people... You see, when you die of cancer or something like that, it sounds very horrible, but often it's the way God takes you out of the surface of life and takes you into the center. And many people with cancer or with dying or in prison or whatever, it's when the outer world dissolves, they discover the hidden mystery of love. And that is the great mystery. And none of us discover it unless we're prepared to go beyond the outer world, beyond our outer self and beyond even our inner self, the self of thoughts, feelings, desires and so on. There's a deeper center behind it all and all the great mystics and all those who witness and all simple people who have discovered, they find it there at the heart of everything is this extraordinary mystery of love. And Jesus comes to reveal that, you see. He knows the Father and the Father knows that love and he communicates the love of the Father to us. And so that's really the secret that he's revealing here.


Anyone keeps my commands and it's not simply doing, obviously, a lot of commands. There's one command, really, it's love. And it's only when you begin to love, to love others, to serve, to open your heart that you begin to discover this love of God. There's no other way. It's only by loving that you learn what love is. And so he says, if any man loves me, he will keep my word. His word is his revelation, of course, love. My Father will love him, will come to him and make our home, make our abode with him. And that is the mystery, you see, that when we open the heart in love we discover this indwelling presence. God is present everywhere and that his presence in the human heart in a special way and his presence is open to those who open it in love, in this mystery of love. He who does not love me does not keep my word. And the word you heard is not mine but the Father's who sent me. It's not his human words that count,


it's his revealing the Father's love through his words and through his life, through his death, his self-surrender. He reveals the love of God. Then he says, he thinks I've spoken, well, I'm still with you, so the counsel of the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things. And the Holy Spirit is the spirit of love, you see, as St. Paul says, the love of God is poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has given us that. And Jesus reveals his love to his disciples in some measure, you recall, with his words and his action. And he reveals it on the cross when he surrenders his life to the Father, but he reveals it finally by this gift of the Spirit. Through his death and resurrection, the Spirit comes, and the Spirit is love. And the Christian gospel is that through the death and resurrection of Jesus, this love has been released in the world, as it were, and it's open for those who are willing to receive it. And that's what we receive, you see,


the Holy Spirit is Jesus himself revealed as in the love of the Father. You see, the Father gives his love to the Son, the Son reveals that love by his death and resurrection, and then the Holy Spirit is the love of the Father and the Son, which they communicate to us. It's love communicated. The Son is love revealed, the Father is love, the source. The Son is love revealed in his death and resurrection, the self-surrender. Love is total self-giving. Jesus reveals that total self-giving. And then the Holy Spirit is the love which the Father gives to the Son, and which the Son communicates to us. And so that's the message of the gospel. We need to reflect on it. Everything we do, you see, when we're serving others and so on, has to come from that love. If it doesn't come from the love of the Father coming to us in Christ, then it's not an authentic Christian love. It can be very good, if you're not a good in the world,


serve in a hospital, work in a village or whatever, and all these things may be useful, but unless they come from this love of God within, they're not authentic expressions of the gospel. So we all need to discover the true history of love, enjoy it, and live from it. First of all, he takes us deep into this revelation which Jesus makes of himself in these chapters of St. John. First of all, he says, Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you, not as the world gives to you, I give to you. And this peace of Christ, of course, is this peace of the Spirit. And again, remind ourselves that we live on these three levels, the level of the body, the level of the soul, the level of the Spirit. And on the physical level, we're all exposed to suffering, disease, death, and to death. And on the psychological level, we're all exposed to suffering also,


to many... We have happiness, joy, and then we have sorrow, we have anxiety, we have fear, all these problems face us all the time, and the soul is always disturbed in some way. But in the Spirit, we have peace. The Spirit is beyond the body and beyond the soul, and it's the presence of God in us, the presence of the Spirit of God and the Spirit of man. And that's where Jesus gives his peace, gives that peace of the Spirit. And one can have peace and joy in the Spirit without being greatly disturbed in the body and in the soul. I think it's very important to realize that there are third dimensions, you see, in the Spirit, where we transcend ourselves and are open to God. And that is the source of life and truth and enlightenment and fullness of life. And then he says, you heard me say to you, I go away and I will come to you. If you loved me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, and the Father is greater than I.


He said, I go away and I will come to you. Jesus goes away in the body and in the soul. You see, Jesus was present at the time of the human body, the body of a Jew with its limitations, which died on the cross, and a soul of a Jew with its limitations also. But when he rises from the dead, that body, that soul, taken up into the life of the Spirit, total transfiguration takes place, and he's no longer in this level of consciousness. We've been reading in the Mandukya Upanishad these four levels of consciousness. There's the waking state, the dream state, the deep sleep, and then there's Turiya, the fourth state. That is where Jesus passes. That's the fourth state, beyond this consciousness altogether. And so he goes to the Father, and the Father is, of course, the transcendent consciousness, the pure reality. And then he says, the Father is greater than I. And this has caused much comment,


the Fathers particularly, at the time of the Aryan controversy, because the Aryans took that as a sign that Jesus wasn't equal to God. And I think that the danger is that they've been put in another way, and they tend to divide Jesus. As God, he's equal to the Father. As man, he's less than the Father. But you can't really divide him like this. Jesus is God in man and man in God. And as God... As God in man, he is less than the Father. The Father is the Godhead itself. Jesus is the Godhead revealing itself, manifesting itself, communicating itself in man, in humanity. And in that way, he's less than the Father. And then he, in that humanity, returns to the Father, and he's one with the Father. But he is that point of union


between the Godhead and the humanity, between God and us. And therefore, he's this mediator between God and man. And in that sense, Jesus says that he is less than the Father. And then he says, I've told you before it takes place that when it does take place, you may believe. See that he returns to the Father, and it's only faith tells us he's gone beyond this world. He's now with the Father, in the Father. And from the Father, he sends Spirit, and he becomes present to us. Because he's transcended the limitations of human consciousness and of created consciousness, he can be present at all levels of being, in that pure consciousness which pervades the whole creation. You see, the consciousness of God, the pure divine consciousness, pervades all humanity and all creation. And Jesus is one with that divine consciousness and becomes present to each one of us and to every community,


and we celebrate the Eucharist. Of course, it's present everywhere at all times, but it comes in this special way, in the Eucharist, under the signs of bread and wine, which he gives us as a means of recognizing his presence and being open to him. And so he comes to us in that way. And then he says, I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me, but I do as the Father commanded me. You see, this ruler of this world, that means our present world, our present way of consciousness, human consciousness, is under the power of evil. You see, we're always in this world of dualities, good and evil. And as long as we remain within that human consciousness, that's a soul consciousness. It's a psychological consciousness. As long as we remain at that level, we're always exposed to evil. The power of this world is always present. But only when we transcend our soul consciousness, the psychological being, and open ourselves to the spirit,


to the transcendent consciousness, only then do we become free. And that is really the message of the Gospel. You see, to go beyond the physical and the psychological. Most people think there's nothing beyond the mind, the will, this is all there is, and that is our human being. But the human being is not simply body, and not simply soul. It is body, soul, open to the spirit, able to transcend itself, to experience God. And Jesus is the one who takes our human nature into the divine life, and fills it in that, and enables us to follow the same path. And so, to go beyond the prince of this world, you see, the ruler of this world, it's a power which is present in all human consciousness. We're all exposed to that power of evil. He has no power over me, but I do as the Father commanded me, that the world may know that I love the Father. You see, he brings everything back to the Father. He transcends his human consciousness,


opens himself to the divine, and is now totally one with God. And that is a sign, you see, that he comes from the Father, and reveals the Father. So that Jesus' whole goal is to make known the Father, and to reveal Him, and to communicate His love, His life to us in the spirit. This is the mystery which we celebrate. I think when we read these passages of St. John's Cross, we need to reflect more and more deeply, because it comes into our lives, you see. These aren't abstract, pragmatic statements. They are words which have life in them. Jesus communicates His life to us, that we may share His life with the Father, because we share in the spirit which He gives us. In this Gospel, he speaks of love and joy. And love and joy have many, many different meanings, many levels of love, many levels of joy. And we have to discern between them.


Everybody experiences love in some way, and love is always mixed. On the one hand, we love someone, and since we seek their good and go out to them, and equally we want our own, we want their love, we want to love and to be loved. And there's always an element of egoism, of self-love in all forms of human love. And one has to learn gradually to distinguish them. Many people don't distinguish the mother loves her child, and there's a certain unselfish love in it. Often the mother will do everything for the child. There's also an element of selfish love. The child satisfies a great longing the mother has, and the mother can cling to the child, and her love can be destructive at the end. Love can be totally destructive. It prevents the growth of the other when you stick the cling to the other, when you're trying to get everything from the other. So there's a selfish love, and only gradually one learns to distinguish.


We love somebody, but we don't realize how selfish our love is very often, and gradually we learn to distinguish. And so it is with joy. There's a pleasure which everybody experiences, pleasure in different ways, and the pleasure can be sharing with somebody else, the joy and the pleasure sharing, but again there's always a selfish element in pleasure. You're satisfying your own inner need, your hunger, your desire. And again this pleasure can be destructive. It's simply you're trying to get your own good and you sacrifice other people to it. So both love and pleasure can be creative and they can be destructive, and to learn how to free oneself from this element of egoism in all love and in all pleasure. And that is a test of all genuine love and of every marriage. When people marry they fall in love very often


and there's a great deal of unselfish love. They see the other and they rejoice in them, but also there's been desire for their own satisfaction. And the time arises in every marriage and every love relationship when you learn to distinguish. You see that there is something in you which is an obstacle to the other and you learn to give up yourself and to recognize the good of the other, the need of the other, and your love becomes more and more unselfish. And it's learning unselfish love which is the great problem of life that we all have to learn when we live in a community. We have a general love for them very often and we try to show love, but then we discover our own limitations, we discover theirs, and to reach a love which goes beyond these limitations. You see, that's the problem. We all encounter these limitations in others as in ourselves and to go beyond the limitations and to be able to love a person when you don't like them.


You see, love and liking are not the same. People can be very aggravating and irritating and they upset you in many ways. You may also be positively... you've recognized positive evil aspects in them and you have to be able to go beyond that to see the person in their inner being and to have love for that person. Now you begin to have a genuine unselfish love. It may be quite destructive to you, it may create many problems, but to be able to go beyond that and to see the love of God in them, and that is where we transcend, you see. When you go beyond personal love and personal pleasure and discover the love of God, then you go beyond these limitations. The love of God is without limitation and to awake to that love in others, that is really the beginning of conversion. That is what Jesus is speaking about, this love which comes from God. You see, he says, As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.


The love of Jesus comes from the Father, it comes from the Source. And we also only discover genuine love when we go beyond ourselves, beyond all created being, and discover the love of God, the Source of ourselves. And that's totally unselfish. You can't get that for yourself at all. If you're trying to get the love of God, then you get something else. You get some satisfaction maybe and so on, but you don't discover love because love is total unselfishness, total self-giving. And of course Jesus reveals it on the cross. He says, take a look. Self-giving love. And he experiences it, you see. He knows the love of the Father, which is total self-giving. The Father loves the Son, gives himself to the Son. And then Jesus is able to give the same love to others. You see, as my Father has loved me, so have I loved you. You'll keep thy commandment, you will abide in my love, just as I've kept my Father's commandments.


Any of the little misleading, this phrase, keeping commandments, as though there were a lot of laws which you've got to obey. There's only one commandment, which is the commandment of love and selfish giving. And Jesus keeps the Father's commandments and says that he is totally surrendered to love. And he asks to stay in the past. So this is a lesson we all have to learn, how to experience the source of love. It's only when you go beyond your ego totally. You see, in all other love there is a certain egoism, a certain selfishness. Only when we make the surrender of the ego and the self and experience this unselfish, self-giving love from the Father, only then can we really love as we're called to do. And then we experience joy. And again, you see, there is a selfishness in most pleasure, in most love, but there is an unselfish pleasure, an unselfish joy when we simply receive this gift. You see, these are gifts of the Holy Spirit.


Love, peace, joy, to receive them. And everybody is trying to get them. You see, you want to get love, get pleasure, get peace. And the more we try, the worse it becomes because the ego is doing it. You see, when you're trying to get something, the ego is doing it. Only when the ego dies, stops all this grasping and seeking and is ready to receive, it's extremely difficult simply to receive, to be receptive, to be passive, for now gone to work. Then only does this pure love come, this pure joy, this pure peace. So this is the great secret, and Jesus really came to reveal it and to communicate it. He experienced that love, that peace, that joy, and he gave them to his disciples. He said explicitly, you see, my love shall be in you, as in fact peace be with you, and then there's joy, you shall share my joy. So this is the goal of life, really,


to go beyond the ego, to experience this love, this peace, this joy, which God gives, it's a pure gift, you see, and we can only experience it when we're ready to receive it. And we can only be ready to receive it when we're free from egoism, from this selfish desire, this grasping, this brute selfishness which is in our nature. So we ask for this grace to be seen. Reading this story of the Council of Jerusalem, as it's called, it's very important because it's the first time the church began to organize itself. And very interesting that Jesus apparently left no sort of organization in the church at all. We often imagine that the twelve apostles were all very officially appointed and they appointed bishops and the whole thing was organized from the start. But the evidence is that Jesus really,


he appointed Peter and the twelve, certainly, and he gave no other guidance except to give the Holy Spirit. And we see in the Acts, really, the church simply acts by the Holy Spirit. It says in this, remember, we have therefore sent Judas the same. It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us. And that was his method, you see. He laid the foundations, then he left the guidance of the Holy Spirit for the church for the rest of time. It was important to recognize it because many organizations have grown up in the church and some were attributed to Christ himself and the apostles. But the evidence of the Acts is there was no organization. It all took place according to the guidance of the Spirit at the time. Paul appoints elders in the churches, but there's no sign that that was sort of decreed from above. It was simply a spontaneous movement. Same here. The problem arose of Jews and Gentiles. There was no definite way of settling it,


but they come together. Peter gives his witness. Paul and Barnabas give theirs. And then James, quite spontaneously, takes charge as a bishop, or he's not even called a bishop then, as the head of the church in Jerusalem. And then they make this proclamation and send it out. So the church begins to organize itself, but very spontaneously, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. So it's very important today because we've got a big organization now and a lot of canon law, but all that's simply grown up in the course of history and the only real guide in the church is the Holy Spirit. There is no other guide. All the rest is simply the provisions which have been made under the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the past, but which can always be changed, can always be revised. And today we're realizing that. The church is this communion of people united in the Holy Spirit. There's only one authority in the church, and that's the Holy Spirit. And he can use popes or bishops or priests


or laity or whatever he likes, and he can organize in any way, but he alone is Jesus' Holy Spirit, So this is very significant, this meeting. And they write, you see, the brethren, both the apostles and the elders, and that's the organization, they're all brothers, you see, receive the one Spirit, and among them are apostles. And then again, it was very vague, you see, Jesus left twelve apostles, one of them, Apostle Saint Judas, another is chosen to take his place, but then other apostles appear quite spontaneously, Paul and Barnabas, much more important than all the rest. They did the real work of evangelization, and that was quite spontaneous. The Holy Spirit called out Paul and Barnabas, and they set about. So the church responds in each situation to the Holy Spirit. And then, as I say, they appointed elders, you see, in the church. And again, probably based on the synagogue,


but quite spontaneous movement of organization. So the brethren, both the apostles and the elders, the brethren who are of the Gentiles in the Antioch, and so on. And then, it says, does it seem good to us, sorry, to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden. Very conscious, you see, that they're living under the direct guidance of the Holy Spirit. In the day of Pentecost, it was quite clear that this power was there, and when people were baptized, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues, very often, or some demonstration. They were aware all the time that they were under that guidance. And when Paul goes on his missionary journeys, he will say the Holy Spirit forbade us to go there, and the Holy Spirit told us to go there. They were living under that guidance, the presence of the Holy Spirit. That's how we're supposed to live. That's the call of the church. And then he gives this,


these rulings which they've made, and then they go to Antioch. And it's important, you see, Antioch became to be the center. Jerusalem at first, because it was the place of Christ, the first apostle, but after a short time, Antioch became the center of Christianity because there the Gentiles came. As you know, in Antioch, the disciples were first called Christians, Christianoi, which is a Greek word that applied to this Gentile community. And so Antioch, which was one of the great cities of the Roman Empire, became the center, and Peter was first to have his seat at Antioch. And actually, you know, the Syrian Christians in Kerala claim that Peter was first with Antioch in their city, so they have the primacy over everybody else, Antioch and Antioch. So that's only by the way. But Antioch for many years was the central city, and then of course Rome actually took its place. Yes, it goes on.


So you see, as I say, how the church grew is extremely important to study because that's a model for us today, you see. We've got this vast system which has grown up over the centuries, and much of it is obsolete, and all of it can be changed. The only real guide is the Holy Spirit working through all the different channels in the church, you see. And today we're waiting for the synod of the laity. It's a very important stage. It may be very limited, actually, in its effect because it's all bishops, you see. There's no laity there. It's only the bishops who are going to decide what the laity can do. But really the laity ought to decide for themselves that they come in time. But the church is growing, and it's learning from the Holy Spirit how to relate itself to the present situation because it's always new. It's always got to grow and relate itself anew to a new situation. And I mentioned South Africa this morning.