‘it is to such as they that the Kingdom of Heaven belongs’—yes, from a very early age we find we are all in pursuit of—ephemera—things that don’t matter, things that we can’t really have even if we wanted them, things that are simply not good for us. Yes, the exploration of sin, that wilderness where we seem to be drawn, shows us, the longer we stay there, that we seem to be always opposed to our own good, calling other things good that are not good at all. In fact we call that wilderness ‘paradise’ and we shun the Paradise which would be open to us, if only we followed Christ into another wilderness, His.
Not a bad bargain, don’t you think? trading our old wilderness of sin, sickness, and death, for His wilderness, where He has already defeated the tempter and is now and forever being refreshed by the angels of God? where sin, sickness, and death are no more—literally, not figuratively—because those who dwell there with Him share His Table and feed upon the Manna that comes down from Heaven, dependably and daily? where that dwelling in the earthly Paradise that eludes only onlookers is the Tabernacle of Joseph where the Christ is born to the Unwedded Bride in all who call upon His Name, and whose clothing, like His, shines like a thousand suns that shone on the mount of the Transfiguration?
Brethren, we can no more deceive God than we can swallow the stars of heaven which He has appointed to be our crowns. We spend our lives in that pursuit I spoke of, trying to impress others, trying to be someone important in the earth. This is not just the high and mighty I am speaking of. It’s the low and weak. It’s us, though we turn away from this truth as we turn away from all truth—unless we honestly receive the Light of Christ, whose Light alone can drive darkness out of us. All our efforts to drive out that darkness on our own only make it darker, and feed the fires that force us farther from Him and from ourselves, even when we appear to others and to ourselves as religious, pious, spiritual.
True humility cannot be practiced, it can only be radiated. Jesus says, ‘Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls’ (Matthew 11:28-29). His yoke is the Light, which teaches us the more we take it upon us, the more we do what we see Jesus doing in the Holy Gospel. He tells us that He is gentle and humble in heart, and we do not question it. We sense He is not practicing gentleness and humility when He, for example, drives the buyers and sellers out of the Temple, yet we do not doubt that He is gentle and humble of heart, because He radiates these.
With Christ there is no difference between what He is and what He does. He has nothing to argue, nothing at all to prove. Those blind to the Light He radiates, not just during His earthly ministry but now and always, busy themselves with checking the prophecies, weighing His actions and words against what they ‘know’ is right, and in so doing, they miss Him entirely. Pharisees are not a long extinct Jewish sect, but inmates of a prison set up by them that would always rather have than be, possess rather than be possessed. But we do not have the Truth, the Truth has us. We possess nothing, so let us be possessed, let us live the life of Christ on earth. ‘It is the day of Resurrection, let us be radiant for the feast…’