6 Sept 2016
There’s a lot of “coming and going” in Jesus’ life; he goes off to pray, and then he goes out to the people. He withdraws to a secluded place to be with the Father, and then he goes out again, to walk from town to town. Jesus doesn’t really stay still for very long. And, of course, his disciples are right there with him: going up the mountain, coming down the mountain, going out to the people, and back again to the mountain.
It’s kind of like sewing two pieces of cloth together. The needle goes through one piece, then through the other; and then you turn it around and send the needle back. That back-and-forth movement binds the two pieces of fabric together. And so, we could almost say that what Jesus is doing is he’s “sewing together,” he’s “mending” the split between the fabric of heaven and the fabric of earth. But, again, it’s not only him doing it; his disciples are doing it too.
And we continue to do that up to the present day. We pray, we spend time with God and try to incorporate his mind and heart into our own. And then we go out in the world, into the workplace, into whatever it is we do every day. And we bring the Spirit of God with us—that’s the “thread” in the needle: the heart and the mind—the Spirit—of God. We try to be Christ for others, just as he is for us.
And then we come back to God in prayer and reflection. Our life of prayer, mission, and more prayer is simply imitating Christ’s life. When he said at the Last Supper, “Do this in memory of me,” this is part of what he meant—to pour out our spirit in humble prayer to God, and then to go pour out our hearts for the good of others, and then come back and open our hearts and minds to God again in prayer.
There’s a lot of “coming and going” in Jesus’ life—as there is in ours as well. But that’s how heaven and earth are brought together and made one. Prayer and work; work and prayer. It’s the life of Christ, and it’s our life as well. How lucky are we to have a life of prayer and work; work and prayer.